WJAC-TV: Inmate Death at SCI Benner Twp. Ruled Homicide

Derric Harsh Jr. (WJAC-TV photo)

BELLEFONTE – An inmate’s death at the State Correctional Institution at Benner Township has been ruled a homicide.

Prison Superintendent Robert Marsh reported that inmate Derric Harsh Jr., 23, was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 11:54 p.m. Wednesday.

He said prison staff immediately responded and provided life-saving measures until facility medical personnel arrived on-scene.

Harsh was then transferred to Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College where he was pronounced dead at 1:08 a.m. The local coroner and Pennsylvania State Police were notified.

According to GANT News partner WJAC-TV, an autopsy was conducted after which it was determined Harsh died from manual strangulation. His death was ruled a homicide by the Centre County Coroner’s Office.

Harsh was serving an eight-year to 16-year sentence for rape out of Lancaster County.  He had been housed at Benner Township since Feb. 2, 2017.

Pennsylvania State police at Rockview are assisting with this investigation.

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