BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — An inmate at a prison in Bessemer was found dead in his cell Tuesday.
According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, guards at the William Donaldson Correctional Facility found Earnest Charles McReynolds, 69, unresponsive in his cell. After being taken to the infirmary, he was pronounced dead. Officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections told the coroner that no foul play was suspected.
McReynolds was serving a 35-year prison sentence for shooting and killing John Henry Yelder Sr., 72, in Clarke County in 2011. According to reports in the South Alabamian newspaper, McReynolds shot Yelder through the front door with a shotgun while Yelder was on the porch of a home where he was. During his trial, McReynolds claimed he acted in self-defense.
Last month, an inmate serving a life sentence was killed at Donaldson. William Eric Jennings, 49, was found unresponsive in his cell. The cause of death was blunt force trauma during a reported assault with another inmate.
The DOC Intelligence and Investigation is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.