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

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182
www.doccs.ny.gov

For immediate release:

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Auburn Correctional Facility inmate found dead in cell

An inmate at the Auburn Correctional Facility was found hanging in his cell this morning by a shoestring.

The inmate, Odel Rogers, was observed hanging in his cell at 5:53 a.m. by a Correction Officer who was making regular rounds of the general population cellblock. The shoestring was attached to a clothing hook in the rear of the cell and around the inmate's neck. The Officer immediately called for assistance, and staff entered the cell and cut the inmate down. Employees started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the inmate, who was unconscious and not breathing, and summoned Metro Rural Ambulance to the facility. Outside medical personnel arrived at 6:14 a.m. and pronounced Rogers dead at 6:19 a.m.

The cause of death has not been determined, pending the results of an autopsy. The inmate was last seen alive in his cell at approximately 4:45 a.m. by an Officer on rounds of the cellblock.

Rogers, 22, was sentenced in 1998 to a term of 25 years to life for a second-degree murder conviction out of Kings County. He was received into the state prison system on Jan. 29, 1998, and had been an inmate at Auburn since Oct. 29 following a transfer from Southport Correctional Facility.

Rogers would not have been eligible for parole until March 6, 2022.

If the death is ruled a suicide, this would be the fifth suicide this year in the state prison system now housing 67,781 inmates. The last suicide, also by hanging, occurred on Aug. 11 at Attica Correctional Facility. The last suicide at Auburn, also by hanging, occurred on Oct. 5, 2000.

There were 18 suicides in the state prison system last year.

Auburn, a maximum-security prison in Cayuga County, opened in 1817. It currently houses 1,767 male inmates.