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A Utah State Prison inmate died Saturday night after corrections officers broke up a fight between him and another inmate.
Officers saw Christopher Lee Lucas, 25, and another inmate fighting in a cell and told them to stop, but the orders were ignored, according to a prison news release. The officers then used pepper spray, and as the officers walked Lucas out of the cell, he collapsed.
Lucas was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 6:45 p.m. His body has been transferred to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy, the results of which are still pending.
He did not have any obvious wounds, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. Per protocol, the Unified police and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office are reviewing the corrections officers' use of force and Lucas' cause of death.
Also per protocol, the four corrections officers involved in the incident are on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Hoyal could not immediately say whether the fight was in Lucas' cell, or where the prison is currently keeping the other inmate.
However, the two inmates were not cell mates, said Brooke Adams, prison spokesperson. The other inmate has been moved to a maximum security area of the prison, per standard procedure following an incident like this, Adams said.
Lucas was serving a 1-to-15 year sentence for forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, and had been at the prison since June 19, 2009, according to the release. He was scheduled to appear before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole on Jan. 1.
During his time at the prison, Lucas had also been convicted of breaking a fire suppression system sprinkler head and assaulting another prisoner in 2011. In that assault, Lucas admitted that he entered the inmate's cell and struck him about 20 times, according to the charge. The inmate's eye socket was broken and he needed stitches on his forehead, the charge adds.
Lucas' address, as of his sexual abuse charge, was in Stockton, Calif. Monday would have been his 26th birthday.