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Guard shoots, kills inmate; Pendleton prison on lockdown


This undated photo provided by the Oregon Department of Corrections shows Jayson Matthew Withers, 26, an inmate at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Ore.. Authorities say he was shot and killed by a guard Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, while fighting in the prison yard.

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — An inmate at the state prison in Pendleton was shot and killed by a guard Friday while fighting in the yard.

Jayson Matthew Withers, 26, of Salem was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital, Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus said.

Withers and another inmate were assaulting a third prisoner in the yard at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, and when they wouldn't stop, a tower guard fired one shot that hit Withers, Primus said.

Withers had been in the prison since 2010 on negligent homicide, robbery and identity-theft convictions. He was due for release in four more years.

The prison was put on lockdown after the shooting.

The investigation continues, Primus said. The guard and the other inmates were not identified.

The inmate being assaulted was also taken to the hospital, Primus said, but he did not know his condition.

Originally a state mental hospital built in 1913, the medium-security prison opened in 1985 after extensive renovation. It now houses 1,600 inmates.

Primus said it was the only shooting at the prison in the six years he has worked in the district attorney's office.


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