Kenneth Gleason, a Baton Rouge man implicated in multiple racially motivated shootings around the capital area back in 2017, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at the Angola state penitentiary Wednesday.

Gleason’s death came to the notice of jail officials after a prison guard found the 27-year-old hanging in his cell, during one of his routine rounds. The convicted murderer was reportedly found with a bedsheet around his neck, averred two sources familiar with the incident, ABC News reported.

The convicted murderer, who started his prison sentence Monday, was reportedly placed in a single-man cell in adherence to the COVID-19 protocol. Reports further cite that Gleason was quarantined for 14 days before his imprisonment began.

In the statement released by Ken Pastorick, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections later that evening, Gleason’s death was attributed to suicide around midnight Wednesday. Further probe into the incident by The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office and Louisiana State Penitentiary is underway. Incisive details into the matter are yet to be disclosed. Pastorick refused to respond to requests pertaining to where Gleason was being held before he was moved to the penitentiary.

Records indicate Gleason’s transfer from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Sept. 20. Defense attorney Ashly Van Earl averred that Gleason's family wasn’t intimated about his transfer to Angola on Monday, precisely two days before he died. Earl further averred that he wasn’t convinced that Gleason’s death was caused by suicide.

Gleason was due to serve life in prison last month after being convicted in attacks that appear to be racially motivated. He was found guilty in the first-degree murders of Donald Smart and Bruce Cofield on April 27 by 19th Judicial District Judge Beau Higginbotham on Aug. 23. He was also accused of firing a shot into the home of a Black family, though the attack led to no fatalities.

According to WAFB9, Judge Higginbotham finalized on death penalty as the “appropriate sentence in this matter”. He further averred how “there is nothing the penal system can do to rehab you,” as he spoke to Gleason during the sentencing.

A representational image.
A representational image. MIH83/Pixabay