Two death row inmates - a serial killer who targeted elderly women and a cop killer - were slain by fellow inmates during a routine visit to a prison recreation yard, prison officials said Thursday.
Charlie Street and Edwin Kaprat III were each stabbed multiple times Wednesday with shanks, or handmade knives, at Florida State Prison near Starke. Two fellow death-row inmates were being held in the slayings.
Street and Kaprat were among 20 or so condemned prisoners who had just been ushered into the small recreation yard when they were attacked, said Laura Levings, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.
Several inmates and two guards witnessed the attack but apparently didn’t have time to react, Levings said.
Guards use metal detectors to check for weapons, and prison officials didn’t immediately know how the murder weapons got into the yard.
Street, 41, was sentenced to death in 1990 for killing two police officers after an early release from an overcrowded prison in 1988. His case sparked a furor over the lack of enough prison space for violent criminals and resulted in a Florida prisonbuilding boom.
Kaprat, 30, was convicted earlier this year in the slayings of two elderly women. He was charged but not tried on three other murders of elderly women.
Identities of the two prisoners suspected in the slayings were not released and no motive was known.
Florida State Prison has about 1,100 inmates but only about 20 death row inmates. About 320 death row inmates are held at Union Correctional Institution near Raiford.
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