A Stateville prisoner leaped from the fifth floor of a cell house and plunged to his death Thursday, according to a release from the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The inmate suffered head trauma and other injuries in the 12:15 p.m. fall, the Department of Corrections said. He was taken to Presence St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet where he was pronounced dead shortly before 3:30 p.m.
The prisoner "jumped to his death from the fifth-floor of cell house C," the statement said from corrections said. "The floor is known as '10 Gallery,' as floors are counted by two, in even numbers."
Other sources said the inmate hung himself in the prison. Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer dismissed that claim.
"We vehemently deny that ridiculous claim and I'm sure the numerous witnesses to this incident would deny it as well, as would the seven medical personnel who worked on his head trauma," Shaer said.
Just before jumping to his death, the inmate spent an hour talking to his girlfriend in the visitor’s area before returning to the cell house, the Department of Corrections said. He reportedly was returning to his cell when he suddenly ran and jumped to his death.
The prisoner was not on suicide watch and had not been a mental health patient, according to the Department of Corrections.
"The unfortunate actions and occurrences today did not jeopardize the safety or security of anyone but the decedent," the Department of Corrections said in its statement.
The Department of Corrections did not release the dead prisoner's name and the Will County Coroner's Office said it has yet to learn it. Corrections said the inmate was "a 33-year-old Hispanic male serving a 70-year sentence for murder. He was not eligible for parole until 2079, when he would have been 99 years old."