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Inmate Dies at Valdosta State Prison

Crime Investigation
Posted at 9:56 AM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 09:56:00-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — State and local authorities are investigating the death of a Valdosta State Prison inmate.

The Georgia Department of Corrections says 41-year-old Thomas Willis was  found unresponsive in his cell at 2:57 p.m. Thursday. Authorities tried  to revive him before he was taken to the prison's medical section, where he was pronounced dead.

The Valdosta Daily Times reports  Willis' body was transported to a state  crime lab for an autopsy. Lowndes County Coroner Austin Fiveash says  his office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating the death.

Corrections officials say Willis had been convicted of  terrorist threats and acts in November 2013 in Pickens, and up for  release in 2019.

He was the first prisoner reported to have died at the prison this year; four prisoners died in 2016.