Second inmate with COVID-19 dies in Lincoln hospital

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska prisons officials have announced the death of a second inmate who had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.

The man in his 40s died Thursday in a Lincoln hospital, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services said in a news release, and was the second Nebraska inmate with the virus to die in the hospital Thursday.

The department did not give either inmate’s name, citing privacy issues, even though the department routinely names inmates who die in custody.

The agency said only that the first inmate who died Thursday was in his 50s and had been sentenced for possession of child pornography in Box Butte County. The second inmate was serving a sentence for second degree murder, theft and a weapons charge out of Douglas County.

Both inmates reportedly had underlying medical conditions, the agency said. The department also said neither man’s cause of death had been determined, even though both had been diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19.

State law requires a grand jury investigation any time a person dies in state custody.