Inmate death case reopened amid beating claims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Department of Corrections has reopened its investigation into the death of inmate Farron Barksdale after an inmate claimed he saw correctional officers beating him.

Prison system spokesman Brian Corbett said department investigators are looking into the claims and that Commissioner Richard Allen has asked the Alabama Bureau of Investigations to do the same.

Barksdale died in prison custody after pleading guilty in the shooting deaths of two Athens policemen.

An autopsy said he died of natural causes and that bruises on his body were not significant enough to be linked to his death.

Inmate J.D. Bennett made the allegations in an Oct. 24 letter to Montgomery County Circuit Judge Eugene Reese, writing that Barksdale was severely beaten by four correctional officers.

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