TOLEDO, OH (WTOL-TV) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the death of an inmate at the high-security Toledo Correctional Center as a homicide.
Lt. Ann Ralston of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says the inmate whose death is being investigated is Arturo B. Lopez. He was 43 and was in prison on a rape conviction out of Ottawa County, OH. His death is being investigated as a homicide, and Lt. Ralston described it as an inmate-on-inmate attack.
Lopez, 43, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2007, after being convicted of raping a member of his family July of 2005. The crime happened at a family picnic on the 3rd of July, according to online records of the 6th Ohio Court of Appeals in Toledo which reviewed his case.
The appeals court upheld his conviction but asked the trial court, Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, to re-sentence Lopez to clear up questions about how his guilty plea was handled.
Lopez was also subject to automatic deportation to Mexico when the sentence ends in 2014. He was a Mexican national who married a US citizen.
Prison spokeswoman Darlene Mitchell said Lopez was found in his cell Sunday at about 9:55 p.m. He was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead at approximately 10:40 p.m. The man shared a cell at the prison with another inmate, but Ralston would not say if that inmate is a suspect in his death.
The Highway Patrol was called immediately and the Investigative Unit in Findlay is checking out the death. Ralston says the Highway Patrol will complete its investigation and give the case to the Lucas County Prosecutors office. The Prosecutor will present the case to a Lucas County Grand Jury for any charges.