SC inmate found hanging; authorities say possible suicide

South Carolina News

FILE

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina authorities say they’re investigating the death of a state inmate serving a 200-year sentence in multiple rapes as a possible suicide.

A Corrections Department tweet says Mario Jerel Finklea was found hanging in his cell Thursday at Lee Correctional Center in Bishopville.

The State reports he pleaded guilty in December 2005 to three counts each of kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and one count of aggravated assault and battery.

Lee is a high-security prison with more than 1,300 inmates. It’s among six South Carolina prisons listed as “level 3,” primarily for violent offenders with longer sentences or those with behavioral problems.

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