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Inmate Death Ruled Homicide

January 16th, 2013 by WCBC Radio

(CUMBERLAND, MD) — Maryland State Police homicide investigators are now working with state public safety investigators in an ongoing investigation after an inmate who was assaulted in a Western Maryland prison late last year has died from his injuries.

The deceased inmate is identified as Michael Armstead, 53.  Armstead was serving a life sentence at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md. 

A suspect has been identified who is an inmate at the same prison.  He is also serving a life sentence.  Charges against him are pending. 

Shortly before 10:00 a.m. on November 27, 2012, staff at the North Branch Correctional Institution witnessed the suspect assaulting the victim as inmates were moving to the dining hall.  Correctional officers and staff interceded and ended the assault.  Armstead had sustained trauma to his head and was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in Cumberland. 

In the weeks following, the victim was transferred to hospitals in the Baltimore area for treatment.  He was pronounced dead at Bon Secours Hospital on January 9, 2012. 

The victim’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.  The medical examiner has now ruled Armstead’s death was a homicide caused by a head injury.   

As per procedure, the initial assault investigation was conducted by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigations Unit.  Investigators maintained contact with Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators during their investigation.  Following the death of the victim, Maryland State Police homicide investigators are continuing the investigation, with assistance from the DPSCS IIU investigators.  Upon completion of the investigation, it will be presented to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office for review and charges.

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