09 April, 2017
Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling tells The Associated Press the inmates were found Friday morning in a dorm at Kirkland Correctional Institution, which is at the prison system's Broad River Road complex.
SLED is leading the investigations along with the Richland County Coroner's Office and will be assisted by the South Carolina Department of Corrections Police Services Division.
The fourth inmate, Jimmy Ham, was arrested in Darlington County.
One inmate was choked with an electrical cord, while another had his chest pressed down while he was being strangled.More news: Head of USA intelligence inquiry refuses to step aside
The four men Philip and Simmons are accused of killing were found dead around 10:35 a.m., on Friday at Kirkland Correctional Institution by corrections officers of the S.C. Department of Corrections.
Kirkland Correctional Institution is a level 3 prison that houses inmates considered to be the most unsafe and violent offenders sentenced in the state. Both men also confessed to killing their fellow prisoners, the warrants said. Coroner Gary Watts confirmed he was investigating four deaths at the prison, but wouldn't give any details about how the inmates died. The prison processes almost 15,000 offenders each year. Kelley was serving a 15-year sentence for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. The charge carries a penalty upon conviction for each count of death or a minimum of 30 years to life in prison.
Last year, three corrections officers at Kirkland were fired after officials said they tried to kill an inmate in their care. Scheduled release date: October 6, 2020. Scruggs was serving a life sentence for a 2009 murder and kidnapping charge along with burglary in the first-degree charges.