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Inmate's death determined to be homicide

Published: Tue, August 2, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

WARREN -- The death of a Trumbull Correctional Institution inmate has been ruled a homicide by the Trumbull County Coroner's office.
Major Lee, 35, was found dead in his cell at about 9 p.m. Saturday. Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk, the county's forensic pathologist, conducted an autopsy Sunday and made the homicide determination, the coroner's office said.
The coroner's office could not comment on details of the death because of the investigation. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over crimes in state institutions.
Sgt. Gerald Funelli said TCI is set up so that two inmates share a cell. The inmate who shared Lee's cell is being questioned, he said, as are corrections officers and other inmates in the cell block.
Funelli is supervisor of the District 4 Office of Investigations and is based in Warren, serving Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Ashtabula, Portage, Lake and Geauga counties.
He also could not comment on Lee's manner of death. Forensic evidence would be collected and taken to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's office to see if the homicide case can move forward with an indictment, he said.
The Ohio Department of Corrections inmate database lists Lee as being sent to prison in 2001 for 10 years for a rape in Cuyahoga County.

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