39-year-old Benner state prison inmate dies

Benner state prison on April 1, 2013.
Benner state prison on April 1, 2013. Centre Daily Times, file

A Benner state prison inmate died Saturday, making him the third inmate to die in Centre County in the past few weeks.

Prison staff and ambulance personnel performed CPR on Joseph Little — a 39-year-old serving a 2-9 year sentence for theft in Lycoming County — before he was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Department of Corrections.

His official cause of death will be determined by the Centre County coroner. Little had been at the prison since Nov. 16, 2017, according to the DOC.

Conard Carpenter, a 54-year-old who pleaded guilty in 2016 to sexual assaulting a 4-year-old in Lycoming County, died Jan. 20 at Benner state prison. He was serving a 4-8 year sentence.

David Fry, a 40-year-old convicted in 1998 of second-degree murder in Erie County, died Feb. 3 at Rockview state prison. He was serving a life sentence and arrived at the prison Jan. 24.

On Feb. 6, Coroner Scott Sayers said Carpenter and Fry’s deaths were isolated incidents. He did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

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