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According to officials,  “blunt force beating” was the cause of death for two inmates who died in a Mississippi prison on January 20.

NBC News reports the recent deaths, which occurred at Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, bring the death toll across the state’s prison system to at least seven since the beginning of the year.

NBC News reports, Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton said in a statement the two deaths come after another inmate at the same facility apparently died by suicide in his cell on January 19.

“Two inmates were killed in Parchman last night,” the Corrections Department tweeted on Jan. 21. “At this moment, it appears to be an isolated incident — not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings. The Parchman chaplain has reached out to the next of kin.”

Timothy Hudspeth, 35, was found dead in a bed in the unit where he was housed, Burton said. He reportedly suffered fatal injuries Monday night in a fight with other inmates, the DOC said.
James Talley, 36, suffered fatal injuries Monday night during an altercation and was pronounced dead at the prison, the DOC said.
Both appear to have died from blunt force beating injuries, Burton said. Investigations into the deaths are ongoing and the cause and manner of death for each inmate are pending an autopsy, the DOC said.

Newly elected Republican Governor Tate Reeves pledged that his administration would provide transparency amid the fraught situation, NBC News reports.

He tweeted in response to the Corrections Department’s post, “There is much more to be done here.

Earlier this month, Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro filed a lawsuit on behalf of the rap mogul Yo Gotti and Team Roc against the head of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the warden of the state penitentiary.

The lawsuit is for 29 prisoners who say the two officials have done nothing to stop the violence.

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