PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- An inmate found dead inside the Charlotte Correctional Institution on Tuesday is the third reported death at the prison this year and the fifth investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement within the past two years.
Authorities have not said how Quonta Howard, who was serving time for second-degree murder, died.
Howard’s death comes after correction officers at the Oil Well Road facility were under investigation for destroying evidence related to the death of Matthew Walker, who died in April 2014. Walker was choked to death and had injuries throughout his body, the state Medical Examiner’s Office said.
A grand jury was unable to bring criminal charges against the involved officers in July due to conflicting testimony and poor handling of the crime scene. His death is still under investigation by FDLE, according to the state Department of Corrections.
FDLE has not said if it is commonplace for the agency to investigate inmate deaths. The agency is currently investigating five out of the facility’s six inmate deaths since 2014.