Within week, 2 die at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga.

Within week, 2 die at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga.

December 28th, 2012 by Joy Lukachick Smith in Local Regional News

Hays State Prison

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

The death of an inmate on Christmas night at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga., was the second in a week.

State investigators say they don't believe the deaths are related, though both died in the same cellblock at the maximum security prison.

"They weren't tied any way together," Georgia Bureau of Investigations Agent James Harris said. "That was the first thing on our minds."

Damien McClain, 27, who was serving time on two armed robbery convictions, was killed in a prison cell late Christmas night after getting in a fight with another inmate, Harris said.

On Thursday, GBI agents arrested inmate Daniel Ferguson and charged him with murder in McClain's death. Ferguson, who already is serving a life sentence for murder, was taken to the Chattooga County Jail to be booked and then likely will be returned to Hays to await a transfer, officials said.

GBI agents were at the prison Thursday investigating McClain's death and that of 25-year-old Derrick Stubbs, who was found dead Dec. 19.

While Georgia Department of Corrections officials have been mum on Stubbs' death, his mother, Shawn Singleton, said she was told her son was being held in protective custody after a fight when he was found dead. Stubbs had been at Hays for more than a year on two counts of armed robbery.

Singleton, who is burying her son today in Chicago, is searching for more answers to what happened, but she said corrections officials won't return her calls.

Hays -- which was named Georgia's prison of the year in July -- also had two prison guards hospitalized in February after they were assaulted by multiple inmates. Another inmate was stabbed to death in August 2011 by multiple inmates in an early morning attack.