HARTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of an inmate found unconscious in his cell, apparently after a fight with his cellmate.
News outlets report 42-year-old Ernest Hill was pronounced dead Saturday at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility run by Nashville-based CoreCivic, which manages four prisons in Tennessee.
A CoreCivic statement says Hill was killed in an “inmate-on-inmate altercation.” A resulting partial prison lockdown lasted into Sunday.
WTVF-TV reported last week that complaints about the private, for-profit Hartsville prison are mounting. One former inmate told the station that he was bullied because of his Jewish faith, threatened with sexual assault and ultimately raped at knifepoint by his cellmate despite reporting the threats to authorities. A lawsuit is ongoing.