Courts & Corrections

Inmate who attempted suicide at Springfield prison dies in hospital

An inmate at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield has died after a suicide attempt last week.

Patrick Fennessey, 32, attempted to commit suicide by hanging in his cell April 23, state officials said. He was transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Fennessey died Tuesday as a result of his injuries, Andy Pallito, commissioner of the Department of Corrections, confirmed.

Three state agencies — the Defender General’s Office, the Vermont State Police and the Agency of Human Services — will conduct investigations into the circumstances surrounding Fennessey’s death.

Fennessey was serving a sentence of 26 months to 10 years. He was convicted of burglary and unlawful trespass.

According to a DOC report, there were two completed suicides in Vermont correctional facilities in FY 2014.

Defender General Matt Valerio said Tuesday that the investigator from his office will look into the case to see what, if anything, could have been done in advance. The investigation will consider Fennessey’s personal background, as well as systemic issues within the DOC.

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Elizabeth Hewitt

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