Iowa inmate was beaten to death

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that an inmate died after he was beaten by a fellow prisoner at Iowa’s maximum-security penitentiary.

It is believed to be first homicide at an Iowa prison since 2010, and has prompted a union to accuse the state of trying to cover up safety lapses.

Documents show the deadly assault at the Iowa State Penitentiary continued despite a correctional officer’s failed attempt to get the assailant to stop.

Michael Whitworth, 46, died Oct. 30. His assailant, Lha Southideth-Whiten, 35, was ordered to maximum discipline and may face criminal charges.

Whitworth died of his injuries at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, reports the Des Moines Register.

The Register also reports that Whitworth had been serving a life sentence out of Marion County for first-degree kidnapping. Southideth-Whiten is serving a 45-year sentence out of Polk County for first-degree robbery, firearm possession and two counts of manufacturing drugs.

A union representing prison employees has accused the Department of Corrections of trying to hide the homicide by waiting to announce it until Election Day.