The visit by the head of Florida's prison system to the Dade Correctional Institution on Thursday produced more than a show of interest in the suspicious death of an inmate more than two years ago. It also led to an unexpected revelation: the suspicious death of another inmate the day before.
Department of Corrections Secretary Michaal Crews announced in a news release late Friday that he had suspended deputy warden Royce Dykes, who has now officially retired from government, because he and Warden Jerry Cummings had concealed Thursday’s prison death, which Crews said occurred in the prison’s infirmary, allegedly related to a fall.
Crews on Thursday had announced the suspension of Cummings amid a firestorm over the 2010 death of mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey in June 2012. Raineys' body was found two hours after guards placed him in a scalding shower, allegedly as punishment for defecating in his cell.
Miami-Dade police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating the death of the second, unnamed, inmate, the release said.
“It is astonishing that the same day I was visiting Dade Correctional another inmate was reported dead,” Crews said in the statement released late Friday. "The fact that I did not have the full picture of this recent inmate death at the time of my visit to the facility is simply alarming."
Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Bruce Hyma told DOC officials on Friday that the inmate who died a day earlier apparently died of natural causes, Crews said in the release on Friday night. More by Julie K. Brown here.
Here's Crews' statement: