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Investigate Delay In Helping Inmate

Five inmates at the state’s Southern Regional Jail in Raleigh County have been indicted for allegedly beating another prisoner to death.

If they have not done so already, state officials should investigate another aspect of the case.

Kevin Brent Whitaker, 38, of Princeton, was found unresponsive in his cell on Feb. 16, according to the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. He died, allegedly because of being beaten by the other inmates.

But records indicate that at some point, Whitaker pressed a button in his cell to alert jailers that he needed something. It took 90 minutes for anyone to respond.

Might Whitaker have survived if he had received medical assistance sooner? That is not known, at least at this point.

Whatever the answer, state officials should look into why such assistance was not provided for an hour and a half

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