Ridgeville inmate dies after prison assault

Dorchester County Coroner Paul Brouthers says an inmate at the Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville has died after a weekend assault.

The inmate, 62-year-old Ronald Franks, died at Trident Medical Center on Monday morning after being rushed to the hospital early Sunday.

Franks was serving a life sentence for a murder in Horry County.  His record also includes sentences for car theft, escape, and smuggling prison contraband.

The Coroner’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division are among the agencies investigating his death.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections issued the following statement:

The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) Police Services is investigating the death of an inmate, resulting from an inmate on inmate altercation, at Lieber Correctional Institution.

SCDC Police Services is leading the investigation. SLED Crime Scene & Dorchester Coroner are assisting with the investigation.

The inmate who was killed, during an inmate on inmate altercation, at Lieber Correctional Institution has been identified as Ronald Franks. This incident is under investigation.

Lieber Correctional has seen a number of changes since July when another inmate, Jimmy Causey, escaped.

Causey was captured in Texas and was transferred to the Kirkland Correctional facility in Columbia.

In the months since Causey’s escape, a new warden, Joel Anderson, has been hired at Lieber Correctional.   All death row inmates have been removed from the facility.

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