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Police: Inmate strangled during fight over cigarettes

February 27, 2019

WARREN, Maine (AP) — Police say an inmate who died at a minimum security prison in Maine was strangled by his cellmate during a fight over stolen cigarettes.

Recently released court documents show an inmate told investigators he witnessed 39-year-old Zachary Titus put 28-year-old Dana Bartlett in a “sleeper hold” at the Bolduc Correctional Facility in Warren.

Bartlett died June 24 after efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.

Titus has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder. Court records show he told investigators another cellmate “choked (Bartlett) out.”

Maine Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty said an investigation found there was “no indication” Bartlett had asked to be moved from his cell, contrary to his fiancée’s claims.

Liberty says prison policies and procedures were followed by corrections staff.