Prison Cell

HARTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of an inmate at Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville.

TBI told News4 the incident happened inside a prison cell involving two inmates.

According to a spokesperson from CoreCivic, the owner and operator of the prison, a corrections officer found an inmate unconscious on the floor of his cell while conducting a formal count around 3 p.m. Saturday. Unit staff on scene initiated "life-saving measures until medical staff arrived."

EMS arrived and transported the inmate to a hospital outside the facility where he was pronounced dead at 4 p.m.

TBI identified the deceased inmate as 42-year-old Ernest Hill. The cause of death has not been released and no correctional officers were injured or involved. 

CoreCivic spokesperson Brandon Bissell sent News4 this statement Sunday afternoon.

"Trousdale Turner Correctional Center remains on partial lockdown status Sunday morning following an inmate-on-inmate altercation that resulted in one inmate losing his life.

On Saturday, June 15 at approximately 3 pm CDT, while conducting formal count, an inmate was found unconscious on the floor of his cell.  A medical emergency was called and unit staff initiated life-saving measures until medical staff arrived. EMS was called to the facility and the inmate was transported to an outside hospital where he was pronounced deceased at 4 pm CDT.    

Our partners at the Tennessee Department of Correction were immediately notified and facility staff are cooperating fully with the investigation. The unit remains on lockdown status while the TDOC Office of Investigations and Compliance investigates the incident.

In deference to our government parter, other inquiries regarding the investigation should be directed to the TDOC Communications Division."

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twiiter @EthanIllers_TV!

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