Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Wednesday, November 5, 1997

Inmate stabbed to death at Sing Sing Correctional Facility

OSSINING - An inmate at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility died Tuesday night from stab wounds allegedly inflicted by another inmate.

The incident occurred at 6:13 p.m. as 60 inmates housed in C Gallery of 5 Building were being let out of their cells for evening programs. A Correction Officer observed one inmate striking another on the gallery, and noticed blood on the inmate who was attacked. The injured inmate was taken to the facility's emergency room and transported by ambulance to Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, where he was pronounced dead at 7:14 p.m.

The cause of death has not been determined, pending the results of an autopsy to be conducted by the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office.

The name of the deceased inmate as well as identifying details are being withheld pending confirmation of notification of next of kin. The name of the alleged assailant also is being withheld until he is formally charged in connection with the incident. He faces disciplinary and likely criminal charges.

The cause of the attack is under investigation. The investigation is being conducted by the department's Inspector General's Office, the New York State Police and the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.

Following the attack, the alleged assailant was restrained by Correction Officers and the remaining inmates on the gallery were locked back in their cells without incident. A subsequent search by staff found a 7 ¼-inch sharpened flat metal shank outside the building. The weapon is believed to be the one used in the attack and apparently was tossed from a window on the gallery after the incident.

The death is the first homicide in the New York State prison system this year. There were three homicides in state prisons last year. The last homicide, also a stabbing, occurred Aug. 10, 1996, at Auburn Correctional Facility in Cayuga County. The last homicide at Sing Sing, also a stabbing, occurred Dec. 24, 1995.

Sing Sing, a maximum-security prison in Westchester County, opened in 1825. It currently houses 2,238 inmates.