Northeast Times

Inmate stabbed to death in Holmesburg prison

Crim­in­al charges have not been filed in con­nec­tion with the stabbing of four in­mates, in­clud­ing one fatally, at the city’s Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion Fa­cil­ity in Holmes­burg on June 21.

A mel­ee broke out in the pris­on’s hous­ing unit C.2.2 at about 9:30 p.m. Cor­rec­tion­al of­ficers re­spon­ded to the dis­turb­ance but did not use force, ac­cord­ing to Bob Es­kind, the pub­lic in­form­a­tion of­ficer for the Phil­adelphia Pris­on Sys­tem. No of­ficer in­jur­ies were re­por­ted.

When the dust settled, of­ficers found Earl Gene Bost­ic, 42, of the 6200 block of Reed­land St. in South­w­est Phil­adelphia, with mul­tiple punc­ture wounds of the chest and neck. He was taken to Aria Health-Frank­ford and pro­nounced dead at 10:27 p.m.

Au­thor­it­ies did not re­lease the names of the oth­er wounded in­mates, two age 24 and one who is 28. Two were taken to Hahne­mann Uni­versity Hos­pit­al in stable con­di­tion, treated and re­leased. An­oth­er was treated at the pris­on’s in-house med­ic­al fa­cil­ity.

Bost­ic had been in­car­cer­ated since Jan. 1 while await­ing tri­al on rob­bery and fire­arms charges. Among the oth­er in­jured in­mates, one awaits tri­al on murder and ag­grav­ated as­sault charges, one awaits tri­al on a rob­bery charge and one awaits tri­al in two sep­ar­ate at­temp­ted murder cases.

Earli­er on the day of the at­tacks, pris­on of­ficers had con­duc­ted a search of the cell­b­lock for weapons and con­tra­band, Es­kind said. Dur­ing the af­ter­noon “shake­down,” of­ficers seized two homemade weapons – also known as “shanks” – along with sev­en dime-sized bags con­tain­ing sus­pec­ted marijuana. The sus­pec­ted drugs were found in the of­ficers’ rest room, ac­cord­ing to the pris­on spokes­man.

Among 32 oth­er cell­b­lock shake­downs that were per­formed pris­on-wide in the week be­fore the at­tacks, two were done in hous­ing unit C.2.2 on sep­ar­ate days.

It is not known what weapon or weapons were used in the killing and as­saults or what cir­cum­stances promp­ted the at­tacks. Au­thor­it­ies have not re­leased the names of any sus­pects.

At the time of the stabbings, in­mates on the cell­b­lock were in a com­mon area known as the day room, where they can watch tele­vi­sion or do oth­er activ­it­ies.

About 96 in­mates are typ­ic­ally housed in the cell­b­lock, while the pris­on has about 2,900 in­mates on any giv­en day. The pris­on re­mained in a re­stric­ted move­ment status on Monday, while hous­ing unit C.2.2 re­mained in a no-vis­its status.

Bost­ic was the first in­mate killed in­side the city’s pris­ons since March 22, 2009, Es­kind said.

Of­ficers from the pris­on sys­tem and the Phil­adelphia po­lice’s hom­icide unit con­tin­ue to in­vest­ig­ate the case. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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