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71-year-old man dies at state prison in Springfield

Courtesy, the Vermont Department of Corrections
The Department of Corrections reported that a 71-year-old man died on Sunday at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. Ronald Roy, of New Hampshire, is the sixth person to die at a state prison this year.

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.

More from Vermont Public: DOC reports fifth death at Vermont state prisons this year

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.

More from Vermont Edition: Corrections Commissioner Nicholas Deml on the challenges facing Vermont's prisons

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.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Liam Elder-Connors @lseconnors

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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