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Convicted Baton Rouge killer Kenneth Gleason found dead at Angola prison

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BATON ROUGE - Kenneth Gleason, a convicted murderer implicated in a string of shootings around the capital area back in 2017, has died.

Sources told WBRZ Gleason was found dead at the Angola state penitentiary early Wednesday morning. The Department of Corrections released the following statement later that evening, confirming a prison guard found Gleason hanging in his cell.

"Louisiana State Penitentiary inmate Kenneth Gleason committed suicide at the prison around midnight Wednesday. While making routine rounds, correctional officers discovered Gleason unresponsive and hanging in his cell. Gleason has been an inmate at the prison since September 20, 2021. He was in a single-man cell, and per COVID-19 protocols for new inmates, he was quarantined for 14 days.

 The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office and Louisiana State Penitentiary have launched an investigation. As such, no further details are available at this time."

Gleason was transferred to the prison Monday, just two days before he was found dead. Defense attorney Ashly Van Earl told WBRZ that Gleason's family was never told about his transfer to Angola. The attorney added that he doesn't believe Gleason's death was a suicide.

Gleason was sentenced to life in prison last month after he was convicted in the murder of Donald Smart. Gleason was also linked to two other shooting incidents, one of which left Bruce Cofield, a homeless man, dead. He was also accused of a firing a gun into the home of a Black family, though no one was hurt in that incident.

At the time of the shootings, investigators said the attacks appeared to be racially motivated.


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