National News

Mar 20, 2014 7:15 AM by Associated Press

Veteran Dies In Overheated Rikers Island Cell

NEW YORK (AP) - The head of New York City's jails system says an investigation has been launched into the death of a mentally ill veteran who city officials tell The Associated Press died in an overheated cell.

Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Mark Cranston says in a statement that the temperature in 56-year-old Jerome Murdough's cell was "unusually high."

Four city officials tell the AP Murdough was found dead last month in a cell that was at least 100 degrees in a unit for inmates with mental illnesses at Rikers Island.

They say Murdough apparently didn't open a small vent to let cool air in and was on anti-psychotic medication that made him more sensitive to heat.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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