Phillip Hardy, an inmate at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys (Lee County), died last night after he was found unconscious in his single-man cell. State Police will investigate.
Hardy, who began a life sentence in 1983 out of Washington County for rape, was found unconscious at 9:15 p.m. and then sent to the infirmary for emergency treatment. He was announced dead at 9:31 p.m.
This is one of a number of deaths in which a correctional officer found an inmate unconscious in his cell. In September, three men — Anthony Howard at EARU, Kenneth Jones at Cummins and Cody Brickner at the Maximum Security Unit in Tucker — were found unconscious in their cells and then pronounced dead. In November, death row inmate James Coulter, who lived in solitary confinement, was found dead in his cell.
Some of the deaths have been linked to the drug K2, but there’s no indication as yet of such a linkage here. But our reporting said prison response to K2 has been to lock down inmates in isolation.
Hardy, according to ADC documents, had multiple disciplinary violations for “Under The Influence.” But the records don’t indicate the substance.