Cumberland Times-News

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January 16, 2013

NBCI inmate’s death ruled homicide

CRESAPTOWN — Maryland State Police homicide investigators are working with state public safety investigators looking into the death of an inmate at North Branch Correctional Institution who was assaulted in November.

The deceased inmate is identified as Michael Armstead, 53, who was serving a life sentence.

Another inmate serving a life sentence at NBCI was identified as a suspect. Charges against him are pending.  

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Nov. 27, staff witnessed the suspect assaulting the victim as inmates were moving to the dining hall. Correctional officers and staff interceded and ended the assault.  

Armstead had sustained trauma to his head and was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center.  

In the weeks following, the victim was transferred to hospitals in the Baltimore area for treatment. He was pronounced dead at Bon Secours Hospital on Jan. 9.  

The victim’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. The medical examiner has now ruled Armstead’s death was a homicide caused by a head injury.   

As per procedure, the initial assault investigation was conducted by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigations Unit.  Investigators maintained contact with Maryland State Police Homicide Unit.

Following the death of the victim, Maryland State Police homicide investigators are continuing the investigation, with assistance from the DPSCS investigators.

Results of the investigation will be presented to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office for review and charges.

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