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DOC reports death of man held at Springfield prison

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.
Peter Hirschfeld
VPR File

A man held at the state prison in Springfield died Tuesday morning, according to the Vermont Department of Corrections.

DOC will conduct an internal review of the incident. Vermont State Police and the Prisoners' Rights Office will conduct separate investigations — a standard procedure. In a press release, VSP said the death is not considered suspicious.

Tuesday morning, Southern State Correctional Facility staff noticed 73- year-old Raymond Gadreault was experiencing a "medical issue" and tried to resuscitate him, according to VSP.

The cause of death will be determined by the state medical examiner, but DOC said, at this time, Gadreault's death is not believed to be related to the COVID-19 outbreak at the prison. The department reported 45 cases of the virus on Sunday and said there were no infections among the facility’s geriatric population.

More from VPR: Defender General Details Failures Leading to Inmate's Death

Gadreault was a source for a Seven Days story that raised questions about the death of Kenneth Johnson, a Black man who died in DOC custody in 2019. Gadreault told the newspaper he watched Johnson struggle to breath and that medical staff ignored Johnson’s pleas for help.

Johnson died of an undiagnosed tumor that blocked his airway. A scathing report released by the Office of the Defender General backed up Gadreault’s claims that the department ignored Johnson’s requests, and that he was denied life-saving medical care.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Liam Elder-Connors @lseconnors