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Coroner: Latest inmate death marks fourth recent suicide in Centre County’s state prisons

Aerial photograph of the Rockview state prison grounds Jan. 12, 2006.
Aerial photograph of the Rockview state prison grounds Jan. 12, 2006. Centre Daily Times, file

A death late this week at Rockview state prison marks the fourth inmate suicide in Centre County since Jan. 20, according to county Coroner Scott Sayers.

Another inmate fatality during the same period was ruled a homicide. It’s atypical for prisons in the county to see a rapid volume of such deaths, Sayers said.

“That’s never happened in the past 22 years,” he said. “There’s never been that many inmates in that short of time.”

The state Department of Corrections could not be reached immediately late Friday to discuss the fatalities.

In the latest case, Logan Splain, 22, was found unresponsive in his cell at 12:43 a.m. Friday. He was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:32 a.m., according to the DOC.

Sayers ruled Splain’s death a suicide after an autopsy Friday.

Splain was serving 1.5 to five years for possession with intent to deliver in Centre County. He was at Rockview since Feb. 14, according to the DOC.

David Fry, 40, also died by suicide at Rockview state prison, while Conard Carpenter, 54, and Joseph Little, 39, died by suicide at Benner state prison, according to earlier rulings from the county coroner’s office.

Derric Harsh was pronounced dead Feb. 28 after being found unresponsive at his Benner state prison cell. His death was ruled a homicide by county Deputy Coroner Scott Rawson. The case remains under investigation by state police at Rockview.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.