Patuxent inmate charged with murder and arson

A Patuxent Institution inmate was indicted yesterday on four charges relating to a February prison-cell fire at Patuxent Institution that resulted in the death of his cellmate.

Dwayne Enis Braswell, 41, was charged in Howard County Circuit Court with second-degree murder, arson, burning the personal property of another and malicious destruction.


According to Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Braswell is accused of throwing paper and clothing immediately outside his cell at 10 p.m. Feb. 18 and setting fire to the pile.

Joseph Jenkins, a 31-year-old prisoner, suffered an asthma attack induced by smoke inhalation, Sipes said.


Jenkins was given medical attention, but died shortly after.

The cell was evacuated, and the fire was extinguished quickly. The blaze caused no other injuries.

The incident took place in the mental health unit of Patuxent Institution, a maximum-security prison in Jessup that handles mentally ill prisoners.

Sipes' account came from information compiled by Patuxent officials, but the Maryland State Police are now conducting a formal investigation into the case.

Braswell will be arraigned within 30 days.