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For Immediate Release

March 6, 2012

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

Untimely Death Reported in the New Hampshire State Prison

(Concord, N.H.) An inmate in the Special Housing Unit of the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord was found deceased in his cell on Monday, March 5, 2012. At approximately 7:00 p.m., a Corrections Officer discovered Joseph John Sawtell, 31, of Plaistow, New Hampshire, unresponsive in his cell. Corrections staff and the Concord Fire Department attempted to resuscitate the inmate but were unsuccessful. The inmate was pronounced dead. He was housed in a single man cell. The New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating the incident.

Inmate Sawtell was serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole out of Rockingham County Superior Court for first degree homicide. He was admitted to the New Hampshire State Prison on November 6, 2003.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. Further details will be released when they become available. Further inquiries into the investigation should be referred to the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit.

ADDENDUM - The New Hampshire Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy. A report was issued that determined the cause of death was by hanging.

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