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Vermont Inmate Dies In Private Mississippi Prison

Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility
Rogelio V. Solis
Associated Press File
Vermont currently houses 276 male inmates at this private prison in Mississippi.

A Vermont inmate was found dead just after 1 a.m. Monday at a private prison in Mississippi. Vermont Commissioner of Corrections Mike Touchette said 39-year-old Christopher Chase apparently died by suicide.

"Mr. Chase was found in his cell," said Touchette. "He was a single-occupant and he was not under any sort of special observations for self-harm or otherwise."

Chase was serving a 20-year to life sentence for second degree murder. He started serving time in 2008 and had been placed out-of-state since 2010.

Touchette said Chase had likely served time at several out-of-state prisons since his conviction.

"He would have followed wherever the Vermont inmates were placed out-of-state previously," Touchette said. "So, he has probably been to Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and now Mississippi, and perhaps even other places."

Chase was among 276 Vermont inmates currently being housed at Tallahatchie County Correction Facility in Mississippi. Touchette said the incident is under investigation.

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