An inmate alleged to have fatally struck another inmate “multiple times in the head” with a concrete block is expected to be charged with murder, according to an Ohio Highway Patrol report obtained by this news outlet.
Luther Wade, 26, of Springfield, was beaten to death Tuesday by another inmate with a concrete block at Lebanon Correctional Institution, according to the report.
The highway patrol described the other inmate Wednesday as a “person of interest” in the incident.
The cause of Wade’s death was ruled multiple blunt force trauma and is expected to be ruled a homicide, said Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office.
The highway patrol declined to identify the other inmate, and no charges had been filed as of Wednesday, according to court officials. A report by Trooper Joseph R. Griffith indicated a murder charge should be sought in the case.
It was unclear what prompted Tuesday’s altercation at the prison just outside Lebanon.
Wade was committed to state prison March 30, 2015, for aggravated burglary. He was sentenced to 10 years, according to prison records.
Wade and another suspect entered an East Home Road home in October 2014 during a home invasion and attacked the homeowner, according to court records. They were caught on surveillance video inside the home and assaulted and tied up the victim.
Wade was also charged with assaulting another prisoner at the Clark County Jail after his booking in the 2014 burglary case.
Wade’s family could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
Between 2000 and 2014, 26 homicides were committed in Ohio prisons, including one at Lebanon Correctional, according to a report by the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee.
Violence in Ohio prisons declined by nearly 12 percent from its peak in 2011, but Lebanon Correctional Institution had the highest number of violent incidents — 2,595 over a three-year period, according to a report published earlier this year by this newspaper.
Prison officials have referred questions about the incident to the highway patrol. Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell could not be reached Wednesday for comment about the case.
Staff writer Allison Wichie contributed to this report.
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