By The Associated Press
JACKSON — Mississippi corrections officials say a terminally ill inmate has died while awaiting his possible medical release.
Officials say 56-year-old Fred Henry Beale, who was convicted of capital murder in 2006, died Sunday. He was serving a life sentence without parole for killing 41-year-old Leon Thomas Jr. in 2005.
Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps tells The Clarion-Ledger Beale spent 18 days in a Greenwood hospital and had been transferred to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl for medical care before his death.
Epps says he does not know Beale’s cause of death. Privacy laws had prevented him from disclosing why Beale was terminally ill without Beale’s approval.
Family members say they want to know more about Beale’s condition and what kind of medical treatment he received.
Family members say they last saw Beale on Saturday.
State law allows medical parole to be considered if the person is determined by MDOC’s chief medical officer to be terminally ill with no chance of getting better.
Epps said 86 inmates have been placed on medical parole since the program began in 2004. There are 39 people on medical parole.