Man Jailed for Murdering Toddler Killed by Inmates

A prisoner in North Carolina who was convicted of murdering a toddler was killed in a group attack by other inmates, according to prison officials.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) said Semajs Short, 24, was attacked by other inmates at the Bertie Correction Institution, in Windsor, on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, an NCDPS spokesperson said Short was attacked in a housing area within the prison.

The statement continued: "Prisons first responders performed life-saving measures until local paramedics arrived and also worked to resuscitate the offender."

The NCDPS news release said that Short was pronounced dead by paramedics at about 2.37 p.m.

It added: "Three other offenders were injured during the group assault and were taken to an outside medical facility for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries."

Prison officials placed the facility on lockdown as investigators worked to find out how the attack happened. No prison staff were injured in the assault.

The Windsor Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation are now looking into the incident.

An NCDPS spokesperson said it is fully cooperating with the investigation and aims to seek prosecution against any offender involved in the attack.

Short was convicted of second-degree murder in Halifax County on April 3, 2017. He had been serving a 31-year sentence.

The NCDPS said Short was projected to be released from prison on May 7, 2042.

According to WFLA-TV, an NBC affiliate, Short had pleaded guilty to killing a 2-year-old girl when he was 17 years old.

Newsweek has contacted the NCDPS for comment.

According to the Prison Policy Initiative, the latest data shows that the number of homicides in prisons reached a record high of 120 deaths in 2018.

It claimed the rate of homicide in state prisons is 2.5 times greater than in the U.S. population in general when adjusted for age, sex and ethnicity.

The homicide rate was the highest for incarcerated people aged 55 and older. They were twice as likely to die by homicide as anyone aged 25 to 44, according to the organization.

Earlier in March, a former death row inmate in Washington State was killed in prison, according to state officials.

Dayva Cross, 62, was found dead in a shower at the Washington State Penitentiary, according to the Union-Bulletin.

A Washington State Department of Corrections spokesperson said an investigation into the death had been launched and that prison officials were working closely with the Walla Walla Police Department.

Cross had been sentenced to death for the 1999 murders of his wife and two stepdaughters in King County, Washington, in 2001.

Stock image of prison and Short mugshot
Stock image of prison and mugshot of Semajs Short. Short was killed in an attack at a North Carolina Prison. Getty/ NCDPS