2 Inmates — One From Sebastian County — Die In Arkansas Prisons On Same Day

PINE BLUFF (AP) — Arkansas prison officials say state police are investigating the deaths of two inmates at separate prisons, including a convicted killer.

Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves says 34-year-old Joseph Hixon and 47-year-old Rusty Draper each died Sunday.

Graves says Hixon was found unresponsive in his cell at the Ouachita River Correctional Unit in Malvern and Draper was found "in distress" in his cell at the East Arkansas Unit near Marianna.

Hixon was serving a three-year-sentence out of Sebastian County. According to court records, he pleaded guilty Feb. 6 to charges of possession of a controlled substance, carrying a weapon and failure to appear.

Draper was serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to the fatal January 2017 shooting of 17-year-old Austin Moody of Sheridan. Prosecutors said Draper shot Moody because Moody was dating the ex-girlfriend of Draper's son.

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