- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Prosecutors say that Utah State Prison guards who used pepper spray to help break up a fight aren’t legally responsible for an inmate’s death.

An autopsy found that heart failure and pepper spray contributed to the death of 25-year-old prisoner Christopher Lucas last September, but Salt Lake County Attorneys decided Monday that guards used legal force to stop the attack.

Samuel Jacob Wise is facing a homicide charge in the death. Prosecutors say the 26-year-old attacked Lucas over noise he was making, and didn’t stop beating him in the head and face until guards sprayed more than two cans of pepper spray and shot 14 pepper balls at his back.

Prosecutors say several things contributed to the death, including Lucas’s schizophrenia.

A prison review also cleared the four guards.


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