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2 inmates indicted for killing 2 inside high-security Virginia prisons

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About 2.5 million people in the US state of Florida have been ordered to leave their homes as Hurricane Ian approaches.

Two Virginia inmates serving time at separate high-security state prisons in Wise County have been indicted in the killings of two other inmates at those facilities, the Virginia Department of Corrections said.

Justin William Crenshaw, 34, an inmate at Wallens Ridge State Prison, was indicted on Sept. 21 on charges of aggravated murder by prisoner and strangulation in the Nov. 20 slaying of Gregory Pierce, 47, the agency said.

Separately, William Scott Pettigrew, 38, an inmate at Red Onion State Prison, was indicted on the same charges in the Jan. 4 killing of Anwar Phillips, 37, according to the department.

Red Onion State Prison

Red Onion State Prison in Wise County

Wallens Ridge State Prison

Wallens Ridge State Prison

Corrections officials did not disclose the circumstances of the two slayings.

In a news release the day of the Wallens Ridge incident, the department said the inmate who died — then unnamed — was fatally wounded in an apparent in-cell attack by another inmate. The victim was pronounced dead at Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap.

The victim was serving multiple life sentences for sexual offenses including rape, and his assailant is serving a life sentence for murder, the agency said.

Following the Red Onion death, a department spokesman told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Phillips was found unresponsive in his cell on the morning of Jan. 3 and died.

Both Crenshaw and Pettigrew are scheduled to appear in Wise Circuit Court on Oct. 12 for status of attorney representation.

Red Onion is a supermaximum-security state prison that houses more than 800 inmates. Wallens Ridge is also a supermax penitentiary that houses about 1,200 inmates.

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