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Corrections officials said Mr. White, of the Laurel area in Howard County, was alone in his cell and away from the general population.

Guards reported seeing Mr. White alert and sitting on the side of his bunk at 10:15 a.m. However, when guards returned with his lunch at about 10:30 a.m., he was not responsive.

Curtis Knowles, president of the corrections officers’ union, said he was working that day but was not in the unit. Officers involved in monitoring the inmate told Mr. Knowles that they came to feed Mr. White, tapped on the window and yelled through a slot in the door, but Mr. White didn’t reply. They went in and shook the inmate, but he didn’t respond.

Mr. White was taken to Prince George’s Hospital after emergency responders at the jail could not revive him or detect a pulse. He was pronounced dead at 11:39 a.m.

Officials said seven guards had access to Mr. White at the time of his death, as did a number of supervisors. Authorities are also investigating whether anyone from the outside had access to the inmate. Cameras monitor the wing but do not record.

The family’s attorney, Bobby Henry, asked for a “thorough and exhaustive investigation” and said Mr. White’s killers “took it upon themselves to be both the judge, the jury and the executioner.”

Police said Mr. White was the driver of the pickup Friday that fatally rammed, then dragged Cpl. Findley. He and another plainclothes officer - in a police unit that investigates stolen vehicles - spotted stolen tags on the vehicle in a Laurel apartment complex, in the 14700 block of Laurel-Bowie Road. The officers then attempted to box in the pickup.

Mr. White struck Cpl. Findley as he exited his cruiser.

Cpl. Findley, a 10-year veteran of the county force, died of head injuries at Laurel Regional Hospital.

Mr. White has a criminal record that includes a guilty plea to firearms possession in 2007, according to court records.

Gov. Martin O’Malley has ordered the Maryland flag lowered in memory of Cpl. Findley until sunset Thursday.

County Council Chairman Samuel H. Dean, Democrat, said on behalf of the entire council that members are “deeply concerned” over the deaths and offer condolences to both families.

“We will not tolerate violence on our streets or in our facilities,” he also said. “Public safety and the well-being of all Prince George’s County residents is a priority for this council.”

A viewing for Cpl. Findley is scheduled for Wednesday, followed by a funeral Thursday in Beltsville.