LIMA — An Allen Correctional Institution inmate serving a life sentence committed suicide Wednesday evening and a legal rights group said he was in severe pain but denied medication after being accused of being a drug addict.A guard found Greg O. Stamper, 61, in his cell at 6:25 p.m. hanging from a sheet tied to the top bunk. He was pronounced dead at St. Rita's Medical Center a short time later.Prison spokesman Dean McCombs said Stamper gave no clues to his actions.“We don't know why he did what he did,” McCombs said.The Ohio Justice and Policy Center, however, said Stamper suffered from damage to his nervous system but was taken off a medication that had helped ease the pain.The group said it was on the verge of filing a federal lawsuit over Stamper's treatment when it learned of his suicide. Stamper had been on a drug called Neurontin but had been taken off the medication by prison physician Myron Shank, said the center, which advocates on behalf of Ohio inmates.As a result of the nerve damage, Stamper “felt as if the affected parts of his body were on fire,” said David Singleton, the center's executive director. “He was in obvious pain but the institutional doctor refused to treat him.”Shank on Thursday said he could not discuss the case.“I can only verify that he had been under our care here,” Shank said. “He had received appropriate medical care.”He declined to comment further.Stamper was receiving medication appropriate to his condition, and prison staff didn't find any evidence of improper care, said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.“However, we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and are conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine what occurred regarding the inmate's medical treatment,” LoParo said.Stamper was serving a sentence of 20 years to life after pleading guilty in the beating deaths of two men found bound with duct tape in Columbus in 1995. He was also convicted of burglary in Wayne County.McCombs said Stamper was sharing a cell with two other inmates who were out of the cell around 6 p.m. A guard checked on the cell a little after 6 p.m., he said. Around 6:25 p.m. one of the cellmates returned and as the guard took him in they found Stamper with a sheet around his neck tied to a top bunk. McCombs said Stamper was not pale and still warm when he was found.The guard sounded an alert then tried to keep Stamper's weight off the sheet until another guard arrived. They cut him down and prison staff administered CPR until medics arrived and took him to St. Rita's, where he was pronounced dead.Stamper had been in prison since February 1996 and at ACI since July 2004. He had a parole hearing scheduled for 2014.McCombs said he could only recall three suicides since the facility opened in 1987. The last was in October. Stamper's death was the state prison system's first suicide of the year.Stamper was in the general population at the prison and worked in recreation. A critical incident support team was at the prison to help staff and inmates deal with the death, he said.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
ACI inmate kills self; lawyers claim mistreatment