Police: Convicted murderer killed in prison cell

SALEM, Ore. -- A convicted murderer was found dead in his cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary Saturday morning. He was killed by a fellow inmate.

Officials said jail workers found 45-year-old Joseph Akins dead inside his C-block cell at around 10 a.m. Saturday.

The penitentiary was immediately put on a lockdown while investigators from the state police, Marion County Sheriff's Office and medical examiner's office interviewed witnesses.

A medical examiner later ruled that Akins has been killed, a state police spokesman said.

Investigators said the suspect is a fellow inmate, although they are not yet releasing his name. The district attorney will eventually file charges against the inmate, a police spokesman said.

The suspect has been separated from the other inmates and is being held at the penitentiary while the investigation continues.

Akins was convicted of murder back in 2008. According to prison records, his earliest release date would have been in 2022.

According to an Oregonian story about his original crime, Akins was convicted of murdering a Milwaukie woman in 1994, although he wasn't convicted until 14 years later.

The newspaper reported that Akins and his brother-in-law were drunk in the parking lot of a Shari's restaurant when they kidnapped, raped then murdered the woman. Her body was found not far from Multnomah Falls.