Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Department of Corrections director Bryan Stirling reiterated their call for cell phone jamming to be allowed in prisons after a deadly riot that left seven inmates dead. "The burden of this lies at the feet of the warden and the state of SC". The names of the deceased were released late morning. In 2013, Michael McCall, then the warden at Lee, said it was the most risky prison in SC. Some victims may have been beaten to death, he said, and autopsies will be conducted to confirm how each man was killed.
"For 16 minutes, all they talked about was a problem, which is the cellphone jamming", Dixon said.
"As taxpaying citizens, we should expect that those that are going into our prison system are going to have some sort of rehabilitation done while they're there", he said, "instead of just coming in, getting three hots and a cot and being released out into society as a threat to society".
The prison, which opened 25 years ago and holds about 1,300 of some of South Carolina's most violent offenders, is no stranger to violence. The guard was released uninjured.
He says the fights started in one unit and appeared to be contained before suddenly starting in two more units. Florence County EMS, Kershaw County EMS, Darlington County EMS, Lexington County EMS and Hartsville Rescue and a private ambulance service also responded. One inmate killed another during a fight in February.
No other details are immediately available, but Lee County Sheriff Daniel Simon confirmed deputies are assisting in the response.
Bacon reported from McLean, Va.