John Demaret, 25, a state prison inmate, died early Thursday at a Malvern hospital after transfer from a prison unit in Malvern.

The cause of death wasn’t given, but a prison spokesman said Demoret was assaulted at the Tucker Unit July 28. He provided no other details. The State Police said they were told about the assault and death and are investigating.  Spokesman Bill Sadler said the Crime Lab is working to determine if the death was related to the assault by several other inmates.

The Tucker Unit is separate from the Tucker Maximum Security Unit, where a couple of breakouts have occurred in recent weeks in which guards and inmates have been assaulted.

The scarcity of information has become typical on events at the prison. Communications have been limited to the barest of statements from spokesman Solomon Graves. Director Wendy Kelley has yet to speak publicly about the breakouts and other questions about prison operations, ranging from illicit procurement of drugs for executions to lingering questions about recent deaths in the prison and reports of trade in contraband, including drugs.


Demoret was serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter from Hot Spring County, as well as a six-year sentence for escape.