Third sex offender death in Oregon state prison probed

Tri-City HeraldFebruary 5, 2014 

Oregon State Police are investigating the third death of a sex offender in as many months inside the state prison in Umatilla.

The Oregon Department of Corrections said a 31-year-old inmate at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution was found shortly before midnight Tuesday night and pronounced dead just after noon Wednesday at an area hospital.

No other information was released.

Damion Banks, 31, was serving a sentence for four counts of rape, two counts of sex abuse and one count of child sex for cases in Clackamas and Washington counties. His sentence began in June 2010 and his earliest possible release date was March 2015.

"As with all unanticipated deaths of state prison inmates, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation," said a news release from the Department of Corrections.

The prison houses 1,800 medium and minimum security male inmates. It opened in 2000.

Last month, a 39-year-old inmate was found unconscious in his Umatilla prison cell.

Shane Morris was pronounced dead at a hospital almost an hour after he was found.

Morris was serving time for sex abuse and sodomy convictions and had been in prison since July 2005.

In early December, a 67-year-old man serving time on marijuana and sodomy convictions died after he was found unconscious in his cell.

Prison staff found Larry Hurst alone in his cell at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution about 10 p.m. He had been in state custody since April 2010.

DOC officials did not release a cause of death in any of the cases.

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