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South Dakota Inmate Dies from Fall

South Dakota State Penitentiary
South Dakota Government

A state prison inmate has died following an apparent medical- related fall at the Jameson Annex of the South Dakota State Penitentiary last weekend.

Inmate Michael Vaisa fell in a housing unit in the Jameson Annex just before 2 p.m. September 21. The inmate was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of head and neck injuries. He was placed on life support at the hospital before passing away September 25.

Based on witness statements, it appears the 45 year old inmate fell from the second floor of the housing unit to the first floor because of a medical condition.

Vaisa was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and first-degree burglary out of New Mexico under an interstate compact agreement. There are currently 27 South Dakota inmates being housed in other states and 28 inmates from other states being housed in South Dakota as part of the compact.

An autopsy will be conducted. The Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the incident.


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