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Inmate charged in death of cellmate

An inmate at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services has been charged in the beating death of his cellmate.

Tyrone Butler, 34, was on Tuesday charged with manslaughter in the death of D’yanza Knowles.

Knowles was discovered injured in his cell on November 18, 2019 by a correctional officer. He was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital where he later died.

Butler, who is serving a three-year sentence for drugs, was not required to enter a plea to the charge when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.

Butler did not have a lawyer and was allowed to address the court.

He said that Knowles was a troublesome inmate, who was moved to his cell after he had been beaten up by other inmates.

Butler said he was asleep in his cell when he awoke to find Knowles’ hand in his pants — and he defended himself.

However, Butler claimed that Knowles was fine when he was removed from the cell.

Butler said that Knowles was subsequently in another fight with an inmate, who beat him into a coma. That inmate has since been released from prison, Butler said.

Ferguson-Pratt told Butler that those matters could be raised as a defense during his trial.

Butler returns to court on April 21.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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