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Police release name of slain MCI-Hagerstown inmate

If ruled a homicide, it would be first at prison complex south of Hagerstown in nine years

March 27, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

Maryland State Police have released the name of an inmate who died after a correctional officer discovered him bleeding Tuesday night at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown.

Deavel M. Johnson, 22, was noticed standing near a bunk bed with blood on him at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday during a head count in a dormitory unit at the prison, according to a state police news release.

Troopers said correctional officers gave Johnson first aid after he collapsed and took him to the MCI-H dispensary. From there, he was taken by Boonsboro Ambulance and Rescue Services to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where he was pronounced dead at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Johnson was bleeding from at least one wound on his upper body, according to the release.

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said Wednesday that Johnson was in an area with 32 bunk beds and about 64 inmates.

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He said the suspect or suspects have not been identified at this time.

“Investigators will be on the scene or returning to the scene for some time,” Shipley said. “A number of inmates need to be interviewed.”

He said Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services officials contacted MSP Forensic Sciences Division crime scene technicians, and investigators from the MSP Homicide Unit and Criminal Enforcement Division to investigate the case.

He said inmates who were in the dormitory unit when Johnson was observed bleeding were relocated while the scene was being processed.

According to state prison officials, Johnson was incarcerated in 2011 and had been serving a four-year sentence for first-degree burglary. Online court records show that Johnson lived in Laurel, Md., before he was sentenced to prison.

Johnson’s body was sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

“If the medical examiner rules this a homicide, it would be the first inmate homicide in Hagerstown in more than nine years,” prisons spokesman Mark Vernarelli wrote in an email. “We last had an inmate murdered (at Maryland Correctional Training Center) in January of 2004.”

Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, Maryland Correctional Training Center and Roxbury Correctional Institution make up the state prison complex south of Hagerstown.

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