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November 13, 2012

Inmate dies at El Dorado prison

Kansas Department of Corrections officials are investigating the death of a 24-year-old inmate at the El Dorado Correctional Facility on Saturday.

Kansas Department of Corrections officials are investigating the death of a 24-year-old inmate at the El Dorado Correctional Facility on Saturday.

Zachary Howard of Wichita was serving a four-year sentence for convictions on a multiple drug-related offenses, court records show.

“He did pass away Saturday morning,” said Dale Call, public information officer for the prison. “Any time the Kansas Department of Corrections has an inmate die unexpectedly, there’s an investigation.”

Howard suffered from “real severe asthma,” said Aubrey Bell, his brother.

The prison notified Bell of his brother’s death and told him an autopsy had been performed.

Bell said he was told his brother died in the prison health clinic, but Call would not confirm that.

“I’ve been with him when he’s had close-to-death experiences,” Bell said of his brother. “For him to not get the care he needed.... is pure neglect.”

Bell said he was told the results of more detailed tests during the autopsy would be available on Wednesday — which would have been Howard’s 25th birthday.

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