Canaan News & Events & Guides
Inmate fatally stabbed at Wayne federal prison
An inmate at a federal prison in Wayne County was fatally stabbed by another inmate, federal and county officials confirmed Tuesday.
The inmate, Jose Antonio Perez, was involved in an "isolated" fatal altercation with an unidentified inmate that resulted in his death, said Kim Straesser, spokeswoman with the U.S. Penitentiary-Canaan. She declined to identify the inmate's cause of death, citing an open FBI investigation.
"He was just pronounced dead as a result of his injuries," she said. "I can't release any other additional details right now."
Lackawanna County Coroner Joseph Brennan said Mr. Perez's death was caused by a single stab wound to the neck, a determination made during the victim's autopsy at Community Medical Center in Scranton.
Mr. Perez, 50, was serving a life sentence on federal charges filed in Connecticut including murder for hire and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine.
Ms. Straesser declined to offer specifics on how or where the homicide occurred or about the suspect, saying only that the stabbing happened in "one area of the institution."
Ms. Straesser said it's standard procedure for the FBI to conduct this type of investigation within the federal prison system and that prison officials cannot comment until the internal investigation is complete. Efforts to reach an FBI public information officer assigned to the prison homicide case were unsuccessful.
The federal prison near Waymart - home to 1,468 high-security inmates, according to recent U.S. Department of Justice statistics - remains on lockdown as a result of the killing, which is the second in recent months.
Convicted mobster Joseph O'Kane, 43, who was serving a life sentence on racketeering charges, (Canaan Gold)was killed in an altercation with another inmate in April.
Ms. Straesser also referred questions about Mr. O'Kane's death to the FBI.
The federal prison also houses minimum security inmates, who are generally responsible for white-collar crimes, at a separate satellite camp located near the high-security portion of the institution.
Former Luzerne County Commissioner Greg Skrepenak may be placed at the minimum security camp following U.S. District Judge Richard P. Conaboy's recommendation that he be allowed to serve his two year prison sentence on federal bribery charges closer to family.