Oak Park Heights inmate 30, strangled in cell - KMSP-TV

Oak Park Heights inmate 30, strangled in cell

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal apprehension announced it has identified a suspect in the death of 30-year-old inmate who was strangled to death at the Oak Park Heights correctional facility.

According to officials, the 30-year-old inmate was found dead on the floor of his cell at about 4:50 p.m. on Monday. Officials say he had a ligature around his neck.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner identified the victim as Shane Lawrence Cooper, and determined his cause of death was homicide by strangulation.

Cooper was serving time for criminal sexual conduct convictions involving a pre-teen victim.

A surveillance camera captured footage of another inmate entering Cooper's cell shortly before he was killed, and the BCA identified him as 39-year-old Benjamin Heath Beck. Investigators say Beck is the sole suspect in the slaying.

Beck was serving time burglary, aggravated robbery and possessing a dangerous weapon.

The BCA investigation into Cooper's death remains ongoing at the request of the Oak Park Heights Police Department and the Department of Corrections Office of Special Investigations.


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