WALLA WALLA — An inmate at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla has become the third incarcerated person to die in a state prison from COVID-19.

The Department of Corrections says 62-year-old Michael Cornethan died on Saturday at a Walla Walla medical facility of COVID-19 and other health-related issues.

Cornethan had been in prison since 1983, serving a sentence of life without parole for aggravated murder out of King County. He had been housed in long-term medium custody at the Washington State Penitentiary.

The prison’s Medium Security Units are on quarantine status to further contain the spread of COVID-19.

Two earlier COVID-19 related deaths occurred in June at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell.

The Washington State Penitentiary has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff, and 110 confirmed cases among prisoners.

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