Prison officials pronounced Steven Newell, 23, of Piedmont dead the facility’s medical facility around 5:30 a.m., according to the Associated Press. Newell was serving an
8-year sentence at the prison.
The Associated Press reported that James Bennett is the suspect in the homicide. Bennett, 43, is serving a life sentence for three assault charges, according to the Associated Press.
In 2010, The Star reported Newell, serving time in Calhoun County jail, was put on lockdown after allegedly punching a corrections officer in the face. Newell was charged with second-degree assault at the time.
Newell’s sister, Brittany, told The Star Friday she believes her brother had previous altercations with Bennett and doesn’t know why the two were being held together.
The Star’s attempts to reach the Alabama Department of Corrections Friday were unsuccessful.
Brittany Newell said her brother was scheduled to be released from prison in February.
The AP reported the incident is under investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.