LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — State correction officials say an inmate was found dead in his cell at an east Arkansas prison over the weekend.

The Department of Correction on Monday said 55-year-old Phillip Hardy was found unconscious on Sunday night in his single-person cell at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys. Correctional officers began emergency medical treatment before taking Hardy to the prison’s infirmary, where he was later pronounced dead.

Arkansas State Police was immediately notified and is investigating the circumstances surrounding Hardy’s death. The state Correction Department says it is also conducting an internal investigation into Hardy’s death.

Hardy was serving a life sentence and had been convicted in 1983 on rape, burglary and theft of property charges.

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