BLUFFDALE, Utah – An inmate in the Utah State Prison died Saturday night after being involved in a fight that was eventually broken up by officers who deployed pepper spray.
According to a press release from the Unified Police Department issued Sunday, officers observed 25-year-old Christopher Lee Lucas fighting with another inmate Saturday night inside a cell in the Uinta III facility at the prison.
The press release provides an accounting of the moments leading up the man’s death after officers observed the fight: “Officers gave verbal orders to stop that were ignored, and then deployed pepper spray. As officers walked Lucas out of the cell, he collapsed. Lucas was transported to a local hospital by ambulance and was declared dead at approximately 6:46 p.m.”
The man’s body has been taken to the state medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. As per standard procedure, The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and the Unified Police Department are investigating the incident, including the use of force and the cause of death.
The release states Lucas was serving a 1-to-15 year sentence for forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. He had been incarcerated since June 19, 2009 and was next scheduled to appear before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole on January 1 of 2015.
FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.