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Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison

Authorities: 4 inmates found dead at a South Carolina prison

Officials have released the identities of the four inmates found dead Friday morning in a housing unit at Kirkland Correctional Institution. Coroner Gary Watts confirmed he was investigating four deaths at the prison, but wouldn't give any details about how the inmates died.

The accused inmates, Denver Jordan Simmons, 35, and Jacob Theophilus Philip, 25, were each charged with four counts of murder in the killings at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, the state law enforcement division said.

The Richland County Coroner reports that the men died between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.at the facility on Broad River Road.

Autopsies on the inmates will be conducted Saturday. It includes a maximum security unit, where the most risky and violent prisoners are housed.

The State Law Enforcement Division and Corrections police are investigating.

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Jason Kelley - sentenced in 2012 in Cherokee County to 15 years for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Scruggs had ties to Anderson County and the inmate report says he was serving a life sentence for murder and a life sentence for first degree burglary along with time for kidnapping and a weapons violation.

King's projected release date was October 2020. Both men were already serving life sentences for previous murders.

Prison records show the four inmates killed were considered minimum security risks. Philip has no disciplinary actions against him in almost two years in state prison. He was scheduled for release in August 2020. The officers allegedly stabbed the inmate while he was handcuffed. A spokesperson for the prison said that investigation into the deaths is forthcoming, according to CNN. The officers were charged with attempted murder and misconduct in public office, CNN affiliate WIS reported.

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