Reported by Liku Zelleke
Officials in Maryland are scratching their heads after an inmate was found dead in his mysteriously steam-filled prison cell.
35-year-old Louis Stanley Leysath III was serving a life sentence in the Jessup Correctional Institution when his body was discovered in his solitary cell.
Correctional staff attempted to resuscitate him by performing CPR, but he was pronounced dead a short while later.
Leysath was serving a life sentence after being convicted of strangling his girlfriend to death in 2008.
According to the prison’s spokesman, Mark Vernarelli, Leysath was the sole occupant of the cell and there was no fire or foul play suspected in his death. He added that they weren’t sure if his death was accidental or a suicide.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services released a statement saying that they would not provide any information on Leysath’s death until officials had located and notified his family in person.
The statement also added that no further information would be immediately forthcoming because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation and until the results from the autopsy were made available. The department promised that updates would be announced as soon as possible.
For the moment, Leysath’s death has been reported as having occurred “under unusual circumstances.”
A full administrative review and an investigation into the death to determine if the prison’s staff had acted appropriately in the hours before Leysath’s body was discovered has been ordered by Secretary Stephen Moyer.
Leysath pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder in Charles County Circuit Court. Jasmine Nicole Clark, 23, his girlfriend at the time, was found dead and covered by a blanket inside her Waldorf apartment following an argument with Leysath over the use of her car.
Clark’s daughters, who were 7 and 3 at the time, discovered the body of their mother on the floor with a ligature around her neck. The eldest daughter reportedly dialed 911 and said, “My mom, she won’t wake up.”
Leysath was later arrested at his parent’s home— right in the middle of attacking them— while in a “psychotic state” that was brought on by 14 years of PCP abuse.