MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — An inmate serving time for a Madison County murder died in prison earlier this week, according to officials.

39-year-old Felix Ortega was pronounced dead on March 7 after being transported to an area hospital from the Elmore Correctional Facility.

The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) confirmed with News 19 that Ortega was found unresponsive in the “common area,” and said that life-saving measures were taken.

He was taken to the Health Care Unit at the prison and then transported by ambulance to a local hospital. There, the medical staff was unable to revive him, officials said. Ortega was pronounced dead by the attending physician.

The ADOC Law Enforcement Services Division will be investigating the circumstances surrounding Ortega’s death, officials said, adding that a cause of death is pending autopsy and the conclusion of the investigation.

Ortega was serving two 15-year sentences for two counts of murder after he pleaded guilty in 2010 in connection to a crash that killed two Huntsville teens.

According to, Ortega slammed into the back of a stopped vehicle, killing 19-year-old Tad Mattle and 16-year-old Leigh Anna Jimmerson on April 17, 2009.

Prosecutors at the time indicated Ortega’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash at the intersection of Airport Road and Whitesburg Drive.