MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia State Police say a North Central Regional Jail inmate has died of severe head injuries, and an investigation is under way.
Sgt. Michael Baylous says 19-year-old Jeron Hawkins of Dunbar underwent organ donation surgery Wednesday after succumbing to injuries suffered during a fight with a federal prisoner held at the same facility.
That inmate is being held in the jail under contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. The state has had an agreement to temporarily house federal prisoners for about a decade.
Baylous said Thursday the findings of the State Police investigation will be turned over to the Doddridge County prosecutor's office.
Hawkins had been convicted of first-degree murder last fall in a 2011 shooting outside a nightclub in Morgantown.
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ORIGINAL STORY: 1/09/2013
Police are investigating the severe beating of a West Virginia inmate.
Jeron Hawkins, 19, and 35-year-old Anthony Young were in a fight on Monday at the North Central Regional Jail.
It was serious enough to send Hawkins to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown with a severe head injury.
"In addition to the jail's internal inquiry, which will look into our policies and procedures, our security requirements and that sort of thing... the state police, the West Virginia State Police have been brought in and they're conducting the external investigation into the possibility of filing criminal charges," says Joe DeLong, executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority.
Delong says an empty plastic mop bucket was part of the fight and is believed to be the weapon used.
He says what happened is extremely unfortunate and it's not something they ever want to happen to anyone in their care and custody.