MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. – An investigation is underway by the Michigan Department of Corrections following the death of a 27-year-old prison inmate at the Earnest C. Brooks Correctional Facility.
On Saturday, July 1, multiple sources close to the investigation say Jamaal Ramsey, 27, was found dead in his jail cell at the prison located on S. Sheridan Road in Muskegon.
“We have some 40,000 prisoners and some 30 prisons, and so there’s a lot that can happen in a given day,” said Chris Gautz, spokesperson for MDOC. “There’s no secret that prison can be a dangerous place, but we work every day to make sure it’s as safe as it can be for both the officers and for the prisoners.”
The cause of death is still pending but allegations have surfaced the victim’s cellmate, 35-year-old Antoine Beck, is responsible. He’s currently serving two life sentences for murder.
Gautz told FOX 17 News the most difficult part of the job is telling loved ones about the death.
“In the end they’re still human, so when someone does pass away, someone has to contact that person’s mother or father or another individual and those calls can be very difficult,” said Gautz.
Gautz said the alleged victim and perpetrator were locked up in level four security, just a step below the maximum for safety purposes.
But even with heightened security, the 27-year-old’s body was found around 7:30 p.m. Saturday during an officer’s hourly rounds. Michigan State Police are also investigating.
“Sometimes things can happen without a weapon, so that’s just one more thing to worry about,” Gautz said.
Investigators are now collecting evidence, including prison security footage and any correspondence sent or received to both Ramsey and Beck during their time in prison. Once they received the report back from the medical examiner, an official cause of death will follow.
“All we can know for certain is that a prisoner has died, we are unable to ascertain motive or cause of death,” said Gautz.