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Four Arizona Prison Inmates Die in Four Days; One Suspected to Be Homicide

Emergency medical responders at Arizona prisons have had a busy week -- four inmates have died while in Arizona Department of Corrections custody in four days.

One of the deaths, DOC spokesman Barrett Marson tells New Times, is a suspected homicide.

Marson says the other three deaths are currently under investigation, but foul play is unlikely.

The first criminal to kick the bucket this week is 36-year-old Gilberto Lopez. Serving five years for escape, Lopez was found unresponsive in his cell at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis Saturday night.

Inmate number two: 28-year-old Luis Moscoso-Hernandez. Doing a 27-year bid for second-degree murder and kidnapping, Moscoso-Hernandez was also found unresponsive in his cell at the ASPC-Eyman facility.

The third inmate to bite the dust in the past week is 31-year-old Christopher Rankhorn, who was serving a 6.5-year sentence for theft of means of transportation. Like the others, Rankhorn was found unresponsive in his cell, his at the ASPC-Tucson facility yesterday.

Also found dead yesterday was 25-year-old Jeremy Pompeneo. His death, DOC officials say, was an apparent homicide. Pompeno, a lifer who earned his time with a first-degree murder conviction, was found in his housing unit yesterday at the ASPC-Eyman.   

All of the deaths, Marson reiterates, are under investigation.

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James King
Contact: James King