LANSING, Kan. — A prisoner who was also suspected of murder was found unresponsive in his cell at Lansing Correctional Facility and died, according to authorities.
Ricardo Carlos Ramirez, 43, died Tuesday despite staff performing life-saving measures, according to a press release.
The facility reports the cause of death is pending until the results of an independent autopsy can be obtained; the prison’s preliminary assessment indicates the death was not related to COVID-19.
However, Leavenworth County Prosecuting Attorney Todd Thompson said the inmate took his own life.
Ramirez was serving a combined 141-month sentence based on convictions out of Johnson County, Kansas, for aggravated sexual battery; intentional touching, and three counts of battery of a city or county employee.
But Thompson said the 43-year-old had also been charged in Leavenworth County with first-degree murder of Fred Patterson III, a 56-year-old inmate at the prison on Aug. 7. The two men lived in the same cell, according to Thompson.
Kansas records say Patterson was in custody for a parole violation and had previously been convicted of indecent liberties with a minor.
According to prosecutors, Ramirez said he snapped the day he allegedly killed Patterson. Ramirez wanted to borrow a pen for a word search and Patterson didn’t give him one — and that set him off, Thompson said. Ramirez then beat Patterson to death, the Leavenworth County prosecutor said.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will investigate Ramirez’s death. Thompson said there’s nothing further his office will do in the case.