Two US inmates were charged in the murders of four fellow prisoners at a South Carolina maximum security prison, the state’s law enforcement division said on Saturday.
The four men were found dead in a cell at the Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina on Friday, according to the arrest warrants.
Denver Simmons and Jacob Philip lured the other four inmates into the cell, the warrants said, before attacking and strangling them. Two of the prisoners were also assaulted or stabbed with a broomstick prior to their deaths, and parts of the attacks were caught on surveillance cameras.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts told AFP that all four of the deceased died following manual or ligature strangulation. The four slain inmates were identified in the warrants as John King, Jason Kelley, Jimmy Ham and William Scruggs.
Authorities did not specify in which section of the prison the inmates were housed, or where the killings occurred.
Kirkland Correctional Institution receives some 15,000 prisoners each year, according to the facility’s website. It takes in all male offenders ages 17 and up who are sentenced to more than 91 days.
The prison, which opened in 1975, also has a maximum-security unit that houses prisoners considered the state’s most dangerous and violent, as well as a 24-bed infirmary.
The New York Times said that in 2015 two Kirkland prisoners took two nurses hostage with homemade knives, maintaining a standoff for eight hours until guards managed to retake control.
Three guards at the facility were charged with attempted murder in 2016 for stabbing a handcuffed prisoner in his cell, according to the paper.