SCIOTO COUNTY, OH (WOWK) — A fight at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility on Saturday left one inmate dead, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
According to the OSHP, two inmates, identified as Ruben Melendez, 65, of Arizona, and Austin Burke, 25, of Trumbull County, Ohio, got into a fight. After it was broken up, Melendez was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Investigators said they believe Melendez died from trauma to the head.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said this is being investigated as a homicide and Burke is considered the main suspect.
The case is expected to go before a Scioto County grand jury once the autopsy information comes back, according to the OSHP.
Both men were in prison for separate aggravated murder cases, the OSHP said.
Judge Andrew Logan sentenced Austin Burke to life in prison with parole eligibility after 47 years for the death of Brandon Sample, 22, in Bristolville in 2017. Judge Ronald Rice also sentenced Burke to 11 years in prison for a shank that officers found inside his jail cell.
Burke was also convicted for an armed robbery at a Pizza Joe’s location in Cortland in the days that followed the murder.
This is a developing story. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.