NATIONAL NEWS

A Georgia inmate used a gun to kill a prison kitchen worker before killing himself, officials say

Jun 16, 2024, 8:26 AM | Updated: 1:16 pm

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — An inmate used a gun to kill a kitchen worker at a Georgia prison early Sunday before fatally shooting himself, state officials said.

The Georgia Department of Corrections in a statement said it’s investigating the deaths at Smith State Prison in rural southeast Georgia. The agency provided few immediate details, including how the inmate obtained a firearm.

The agency’s statement said inmate Jaydrekus Hart fatally shot a food service worker in the prison’s kitchen at about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, then used the gun to kill himself.

“The weapon is in GDC custody at this time, and a complete and thorough investigation of what led up to this tragic incident will be carried out,” the statement said.

Agency spokeswoman Lori Benoit provided no further information when reached by phone. She said further details would be released when they become available.

The slain kitchen worker, 24-year-old Aureon Shavea Grace of Statesboro, had worked at the prison since January, according to the corrections department. She was employed by Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company that provides food service for prisons in Georgia and other U.S. states.

“We are heartbroken over the loss of our colleague and our hearts and prayers go out to her family,” Aramark spokesperson Debbie Albert said in an emailed statement. “This is a tragedy for all of us.”

Albert said the company was assisting Georgia prison officials in their investigation.

It’s the second killing of a staff member at Smith State Prison in less than a year. Correctional officer Robert Clark, 42, died last October after an inmate he was escorting attacked him from behind with a homemade weapon.

A state investigation into a sprawling contraband scheme inside the prison resulted in the arrest and firing of the prison’s warden, Brian Adams, in February 2023. He was charged with racketeering, bribery, making or writing false statements and violating his oath as a public officer.

Hart had been imprisoned since 2015 after being convicted in Carroll County of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery, according to online prison records. His earliest potential release date would have been in 2043.

Smith State Prison, which has capacity for 1,500 inmates, is a close-security prison that houses offenders considered violent or an escape risk.

National News

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, left, talks with Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell...

Associated Press

Senate to consider bills that aim to protect children and teenagers online

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will consider legislation this week that aims to protect children from dangerous online content, moving forward with what could become the first sweeping new regulation of the tech industry in decades. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is set to announce Tuesday that he will bring the bipartisan bill up in the […]

2 hours ago

Death row inmate Taberon Honie leaves the Utah Board of Pardons commutation hearing Monday, July 22...

Associated Press

Attorneys for state of Utah ask parole board to keep death sentence for man convicted in 1998 murder

Attorneys for the state of Utah are expected on Tuesday to urge a parole board to deny a death row inmate’s request for his life to be spared ahead of his scheduled Aug. 8 execution. Representatives of the 49-year-old victim, Claudia Benn, were scheduled to testify before both sides deliver their closing arguments during the […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart speaks at the Capitol in Washington, May 26, 2021. Stew...

Associated Press

Jon Stewart pushes VA to help veterans sickened after post-9/11 exposure to uranium

WASHINGTON (AP) — Comedian Jon Stewart is pressing the Biden administration to fix a loophole in a massive veterans aid bill that left out some of the first U.S. troops who responded after the Sept. 11 attacks and got sick after deploying to a base contaminated with dangerous levels of uranium. Special operations forces deployed […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a cabinet meeting at the Kirya military bas...

Associated Press

Netanyahu is in Washington at a fraught time for Israel and the US. What to know about his visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week is looming as a fraught one between the two allies, coming at a moment of extreme political flux in the United States, and wariness among American leaders about Netanyahu’s history of interjecting himself into U.S. domestic politics. The main purpose of Netanyahu’s […]

2 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden sits in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 9, 2024, in Washington....

Associated Press

Biden aims for more achievements despite the bane of lame-duck presidents: diminished relevance

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden says he’s “determined to get as much done” as he possibly can in his final six months in the White House as he tries to beat back a defining force that his lame-duck predecessors struggled to vanquish: diminished relevance. Biden hopes to keep the spigot flowing with […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

UN says nearly 40 million people had HIV in 2023 — and every minute someone died

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nearly 40 million people were living with the HIV virus that causes AIDS last year, over 9 million weren’t getting any treatment, and the result was that every minute someone died of AIDS-related causes, the U.N. said in a new report launched Monday. While advances are being made to end the […]

2 hours ago

A Georgia inmate used a gun to kill a prison kitchen worker before killing himself, officials say