71-year-old man dies at state prison in Springfield
A 71-year-old man died at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, according to the Department of Corrections.
In a press release, DOC said Ronald Roy, of New Hampshire, was found unresponsive in the infirmary on Sunday afternoon. Staff provided "life saving measures" and called emergency medical services, who declared Roy dead when they arrived.
Vermont State Police, in a press release, said Roy’s death did not appear suspicious.
VSP and the Defender General’s office will conduct separate investigations of the incident, a standard practice when a person dies in prison. DOC will also conduct its own administrative and medical reviews.
Roy was detained at the Springfield prison for allegedly violating conditions of release stemming from a 2002 federal heroin distribution conviction in New Hampshire. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison with five years of supervised release, according to court records.
Roy’s lengthy prison sentence appears to be based on the fact that another heroin user died from an overdose while the two men were taking the drug together, according to a motion filed by Roy’s federal public defender, Micahel Desautel. Seven Days first reported the filing.
Desautel, in the motion, argued that Roy should be released from prison on conditions.
“He simply wants to be outside the walls of a prison until his supervised release case is resolved,” Desautel wrote in the filing.
A hearing on the motion was scheduled for this week.
Roy is the sixth incarcerated person to die in Vermont this year.
In May, David Goldstein died after an apparent medical event. There have also been two suspected suicides, an accidental drug overdose and a death due to natural causes.