The Arizona Department of Corrections media relations department has had a busy few days.
Last week, there was an apparent shanking, which left one inmate dead. Within minutes of relaying that news to media outlets, prison officials were charged with explaining to the public how a different inmate escaped custody by stealing a government vehicle.
Today's headache for the DOC: suicides -- plural.
Two Arizona prison inmates apparently endured enough time at the big house and killed themselves over the weekend.
The first: 29-year-old Robert Medina.
Medina was serving a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and armed robbery. He was found unresponsive in his cell at the Eyman state prison near Florence and unable to be revived by prison medical staff.
The second: 26-year-old Anthony Lester, serving a 12-year sentence for aggravated assault at a state prison in Tucson. He died late Sunday after he was taken to a hospital.
We contacted DOC spokesman Barrett Marson to get more details on the apparent suicides, but he didn't immediately get back to us.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.