Family was notified of inmate’s death
June 29, 2003
Prison officials are refuting claims by some members of the Cummings family that they were not officially informed of the death of their relative at the Mazaruni jail last week.
The inmate, Lennox Cummings, died on June 19, following a fight with another prisoner. Sources said a post mortem examination performed recently stated that the death of the 37-year-old Cummings was consistent with a blow to his head and a subsequent fall.
A senior prison source told this newspaper on Wednesday that immediately after the incident, one of the officials called one of Cummings’ brothers who lectures at the University of Guyana and reported the incident. The brother has confirmed this. He said he and others were among the first to be notified the very day Lennox Cummings was killed.
However, when Stabroek News visited the man’s Nabacalis, East Coast Demerara home on Tuesday, an older brother, Eton Cummings, was still maintaining that no one from the prisons or the police had officially informed the family of the death.
“They took him from us alive to correct his behaviour and should have returned him to us alive,” Eton Cummings stated. Lennox Cummings was serving a three-year sentence for trafficking in narcotics and was expected to be released from prison next month.
Reports indicate that Cummings and another man had an argument, which led to a fight in the prison compound. Cummings reportedly fell after he was cuffed in the face. Prison authorities said he was rushed to the Bartica Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
“If he was to be released any time, what was he doing up there?” Eton Cummings asked. But prison sources said prisoners are only transferred out of the interior location “shortly” before they are released or if special concerns are raised.
Cummings leaves to mourn a young daughter, his father and six siblings.