Two charged in death of four inmates at SC prison

Two charged in death of four inmates at SC prison”

Two inmates at the Kirkland Correctional Institute in Columbia are facing charges after four of their fellow inmates were found deceased in a housing unit at the institution Friday morning, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Two convicts each serving a life sentence for killing a mother and her child have been charged with murder in the strangulation deaths of four inmates inside a SC prison.

Denver Jordan Simmons, 35, and Jacob Theophilus Philip, 25, have both been charged with four counts of murder. According to the arrest warrants they were attacked with a broomstick and strangled by Simmons and Phillip.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections says the four are 52-year-old John King, 35-year-old Jason Kelley, 56-year-old Jimmy Ham, and 44-year-old William Scruggs.

Two inmates serving life sentences - each for killing a mother and her child - have been charged with four counts of murder in the killings.

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The department's protective custody unit is also located at Kirkland, holding offenders "with special security concerns in a controlled environment", according to the corrections website. Kelley was serving 15 years for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

King's projected release date was October 2020.

Coroner Gary Watts confirms he's investigating four deaths at the facility, but wouldn't give any details about how the inmates died.

The State Law Enforcement Division and Corrections police are investigating. Kendrick Hoover, 27, was stabbed by another inmate in March at Evans Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison in Bennettsville. He was scheduled to be released from prison in August 2020.

Scruggs was sentenced to life in prison for murder and burglary, plus 30 years for kidnapping, and five years for having a weapon during a violent crime, according to the Solicitor's Office.

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