Nebraska Has First Prison COVID-19 Death

Nebraska likely had its first prison inmate die as a result of COVID19. Officials say a man in his 50s being held at the State Penitentiary in Lincoln died Friday after being hospitalized for 2 weeks. 

      Dept of Correctional Services Director Scott Frakes says while the coronavirus is suspected, the exact cause of death has not yet been determined.

       Frakes says the inmate had several underlying health conditions and tested positive for COVID-19 when he was admitted to a Lincoln hospital for medical treatment of his existing medical issues. 

      Frakes says the man’s name won’t be released both because medical record privacy laws and for the privacy of the family, adding only that the man was serving sentences for burglary, drugs, and weapons convictions from Saunders and Lancaster Counties.        

      As is the case whenever an inmate dies in the custody of the Nebraska Dept of Correctional Services, state law requires a grand jury to conduct an investigation.