Illinois State Police, corrections investigate death of prison inmate

State News

A close-up photo of police lights by night (Credit: Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police are investigating the death of an inmate last week at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling, officials confirmed Friday.

Inmate Quincy Ivory, 36, was identified by Schuyler County Coroner Terry Millslagle. He said Ivory died Nov. 26 at a hospital in nearby Rushville.

Neither Millslagle nor Illinois Department of Corrections officials would comment on specifics surrounding the death at the medium-security lockup in Mount Sterling, 250 miles (402 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Millslagle said an autopsy was incomplete and declined to provide other information. Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess confirmed only that internal affairs officers opened an investigation and requested state police assistance.

Beth Hunsdorfer, spokeswoman for the Illinois State Police, said the agency only performed a crime-scene investigation, including taking photographs and collecting and securing evidence.

Ivory, an Aurora resident, was serving a nine-year sentence for residential burglary in April 2018. According to the Aurora Beacon-News, police in North Aurora arrested Ivory after an early morning April 16 break-in at the home of a woman with whom Ivory shares children. Ivory struck the woman, stole a cellphone and $150 and fled. He later eluded police at a high rate of speed.

Western Illinois Correctional Center was the site of another inmate death in 2018. In that case, three correctional officers face federal charges of assault and civil rights violations in the death of 65-year-old inmate Larry Earvin.

Authorities allege that Earvin was restrained and handcuffed when he was beaten so severely he was airlifted to a hospital and died of blunt trauma injuries six weeks later. The officers also face charges that they falsified reports and misled investigators.

Correctional Lt. Todd Sheffler, Sgt. Willie Hedden, and officer Alex Banta have pleaded not guilty. Trial in federal court in Springfield is currently set for Jan. 5.

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