Two inmates at Hays State Prison in northwest Georgia have been charged in last week’s killing of a fellow inmate from Atlanta, officials said Tuesday.
And the man’s dad said the inmate was stabbed to death last Friday because he refused to join a gang.
Mr. Nathaniel Reynolds was the third inmate found dead at the northwest Georgia prison in Trion in Chattooga County within the past month. The deaths of the other inmates were reported Dec. 19 and Dec. 26.
Mr. Ricardo Beltran-Gonzales and Mr. Leonardo Ramos Rodriques were both charged with murder in the death of Mr. Reynolds, GBI spokesman Mr. John Bankhead said.
Mr. Beltran-Gonzales, 36, was serving time for cocaine trafficking and was due to be released in 2038, the GBI said. Mr. Rodriques, 39, was serving time for involuntary manslaughter and was due to be released 2018.
Officials have released few details on the circumstances of Mr. Reynold’s death.
“Inmate Reynolds was in an altercation yesterday and was transported to a local area hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries,” the state Department of Correction’s spokeswoman Ms. Gwendolyn Hogan said.
Mr. Nathaniel Reynolds Sr. of Atlanta said his son was the victim of gang violence at the prison, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The father said Wednesday that his son had been in prison on a murder conviction for almost 14 years, with about two years at Hays State Prison.
Since last summer Mr. Reynolds had been in isolation after being involved in a gang fight, the dad said.
The younger Reynolds was being moved from isolation Friday morning back to the general prison population when several inmates stabbed him, his father told the AJC, recalling what other inmates had told him.
He said he last spoke to his son Thursday. Reynolds’ funeral is Friday in Atlanta.
The GBI was also called in to investigate two other recent inmate deaths at the prison.
On Dec. 26, Mr. McClain, 27, died from injuries after getting into a fight with another inmate.
Fellow inmate Daniel Ferguson, who was serving a life sentence for murder, was charged with murder in the death of Mr. McClain who was serving time for armed robbery.
Mr. MacClain’s mother, Mrs. RaHonda MacClain, said Tuesday she was told by prison officials that more inmates may have been involved in the death of her son who was serving a 16-year sentence for a DeKalb County conviction.
Mrs. MacClain said her son had complained to her that he was being targeted because he refused to join gangs.
“The last think I heard was that they were still doing an investigation and others may know something [about MacClain’s slaying],” the mother said.
A week before her son’s death, on Dec. 19, another inmate, Mr. Derrick Stubbs, 25, was found dead at Hays State Prison, Ms. Hogan said.
Both Mr. MacClain and Mr. Stubbs were housed in the same area of the prison, but GBI agent James Harris told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that investigators did not believe their killings were linked.
“They weren’t tied any way together,” Harris told the publication. “That was the first thing on our minds.”
Mr. Stubbs’ mother told the Chattanooga Times her son, who was in prison for armed robbery, was in protective custody following a fight when he was found dead.
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