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Investigations Underway for Two Unrelated Prison Deaths

The Mount Olive Correctional Complex
West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Mt. Olive Correctional Complex

Internal and State Police reviews are underway after two separate, unrelated deaths at West Virginia correctional facilities on Monday.

According to a press release from the West Virginia Department of Public Safety, Philip D. Casto, 35, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Mount Olive Correctional Complex during an early morning head count. He was pronounced dead a short time later. The initial indication is suicide. Casto was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without mercy for the September 2015 shooting death of Jennifer Evans in her Hurricane residence. Casto was captured in Massachusetts following the crime.

Denna Ruth McDonald, 48, suffered an apparent medical episode while in the booking area of the Western Regional Jail. Staff immediately provided medical attention, as did emergency medical technicians called to the facility. She was pronounced dead at a hospital around 10:45 a.m.  McDonald had been brought to the jail Saturday evening on a bail revocation charge.

Because both cases involve ongoing reviews as well as inmate medical privacy issues, additional details are not expected to be released at this time.

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