State police are continuing to probe a weekend choking death of a Cambria County Prison inmate, but it was not clear Monday when charges would be filed in the case.
Authorities have not identified the suspect, but he reportedly is a state inmate who was being housed temporarily at the county prison after being brought here for a court hearing.
The victim was 28-year-old William Henry Sherry of Northern Cambria, who was strangled to death Saturday night after he and his cellmate allegedly got into an altercation, Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said.
A corrections officer, making a routine check at 9:30 p.m., found the body, the coroner has said.
Kwiatkowski said that a bed sheet was used to strangle the victim and that the cell then was “staged to make it look like a suicide.”
Heath Long, first assistant district attorney, said Monday that state police were continuing the investigation and he was unsure how soon charges would be filed. He declined to elaborate on the probe.
While the police are conducting the criminal probe, the county prison board is expected to be reviewing with Warden John Prebish whether any procedures or policies need to be changed as a result of the alleged homicide, President Judge Timothy Creany said.
“It’s too early to make any statement about that,” Creany said.
Sherry had been in the county prison only since Wednesday, Prebish said.
He was jailed on a bench warrant signed by President Judge Timothy Creany for parole violations.
The probation office alleged that Sherry was delinquent in paying costs and a fine, failing to report to his probation officer and failing to notify the officer of a change in his address.
The bench warrant was in a 2009 case in which Sherry was sentenced to three months home confinement and 20 months probation on guilty pleas to fleeing or eluding police and driving while his license was suspended or revoked.
He had a county criminal record dating back to 2002, including theft, criminal mischief and indecent exposure.
In 2004, he was sentenced in federal court in Johnstown to six months home confinement and three years probation for assisting in the counterfeiting of reserve notes by allowing another to use his computer.
The suspect reportedly had a court appearance here in mid-July and was awaiting transport back to a state prison.
Prebish said that the prison was locked down following the discovery of the body. The facility resumed normal operations Sunday morning, he said.