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Department of Corrections Announces First COVID-19-Related Inmate Death


Harrisburg, PA – On April 8, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix, Montgomery County, died at the Einstein Medical Center. On April 11, the Montgomery County coroner notified prison officials that the cause of death was determined to be acute respiratory distress from pneumonia due to COVID-19 with contributing factors of hypertensive cardiovascular disease and liver cirrhosis.

The inmate was a 67-year-old African American who was serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder conviction out of Philadelphia County.

The inmate's next-of-kin was contacted.

This is the first COVID-19-related death in a state correctional facility. Should additional COVID-19-related inmate deaths occur, the DOC will include that information on its website and will not issue individual news releases.

Find the latest information on the DOC's COVID-19 efforts here. 

Find the latest information on the coronavirus here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan McNaughton,; Maria Finn,

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