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Inmate, 20, from Baltimore dies after severe prison beating

A 20-year-old prison inmate from Baltimore found severely beaten in his prison cell in Cumberland and transferred to Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Monday has died from his injuries, according to his family and hospital officials.

Jerod Pridget, of East Baltimore, was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday, said Cordedra Scott, his sister. Cindy Rivers, a Shock Trauma spokeswoman, confirmed Pridget's death.

Pridget had been serving an 18-month sentence in the Western Correctional Institution for drug and gun convictions. Corrections officials said he was found with "severe head trauma" in his cell just before noon Monday, and taken to a regional hospital before being transferred to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

Officials said they have identified another inmate as a suspect in his beating and do not believe others were involved.

Mark Vernarelli, a Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said investigators "have physical evidence linking that suspect to the crime."

The suspect has not been identified.

At Shock Trauma, Pridget was "unrecognizable" to his family due to a broken nose, broken jaw and severe swelling to his head, Scott said.

She and her family demand to know more details about his attack, she said. They don't understand how he was beaten so severely before someone intervened, she said.

Although Pridget was "little and petite," he was also "a fighter," and the family does not believe one inmate could have caused so much damage, especially because Pridget had "no defensive wounds," Scott said.

"How could they possibly do that to him?" she said.

Under Maryland law, the investigation into Pridget's fatal beating will be taken over by Maryland State Police. Before his death, Pridget's beating was being investigated by detectives within the state corrections department.

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