BY EWAN PALMER
A convicted pedophile who was serving two life sentences for molesting a child has died after being attacked by a fellow inmate at a Florida prison.
An investigation is underway after 79-year-old Nelson J. Sanderson was pronounced dead following an inmate-on-inmate assault at the Century Correctional Institute on August 17.
In a statement to NorthEscambia.com, the Florida Department of Corrections said that an active homicide investigation has been launched by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FDC Office of Inspector General.
The circumstances which led up to the inmate-on-inmate attack has not been revealed.
Online records show Sanderson was found guilty in 2016 of the lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12 in Lee County and handed two life sentences.
Sanders is also listed as deceased on the Florida Department of Corrections website.
“The safe and secure operation of Florida’s correctional institutions is the Department of Corrections’ top priority. Every inmate death is thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and the Department’s Office of Inspector General to ensure independent oversight and absolute accountability at all levels,” the Florida Department of Corrections said in a statement.
“The Florida Department of Corrections is committed to providing for the safety and wellbeing of all inmates in custody. Inmates who cause harm to others are held accountable for their actions.
“This includes administrative sanctions, placement in restrictive housing and criminal charges if applicable. This is done for the safety of staff and other inmates.”
As noted by the Pensacola News Journal, the death of Sanderson occurred just days after Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch penned an open letter to inmates entitled “Find a Solution” seeking ideas on how to control the violence taking place in Florida prisons.
“Let’s be blunt, some of you have chosen to continue a criminal lifestyle in prison or on probation,” Inch wrote.
“You use violence to enforce your position and game. Others appear unwilling or unable to control emotions, and resort to violence to address perceived or actual offenses.
“Some bring new victims to the brink of death and administer life-long scars, both physical and emotional, with no justification. Some commit murder. I don’t have to give you the stats; you see it.”
Inch also sought volunteers to help plan a new initiative for inmates serving less than one year sentences, which included separate housing arrangements and mentorship.
Newsweek has contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.