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Inmate who gouged own eyes dies in health care facility

November 14, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who blinded himself by gouging his own eyes last year at the Maine State Prison has died.

The Kennebuc Journal reports no information has been released on how 67-year-old James Staples died at a South Carolina health facility. It is unclear if injuries he sustained from the June 2017 eye-gouging incident was connected to his death.

Staples’ attorney, Douglas Jennings, said he called the facility last week for an update on his client and was told he was dead. A message was left Wednesday with the Columbia Regional Care Center.

Staples was sent there after he was accused of punching a fellow patient at an Augusta psychiatric hospital.

A judge found him not criminally responsible and said it was “shameful” no Maine facility could be found to house Staples.

Court records show he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

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Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/

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