- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Officials in northeastern Pennsylvania said Friday the fifth-floor door to a county jail elevator swung open as if it was hinged on the top earlier this week, causing a prisoner and guard to break through it and fall to their deaths.

A report released by the Luzerne County district attorney and coroner concluded inmate Timothy Darnell Gilliam Jr. killed correctional officer Kristopher D. Moules.

“Although inmate Gilliam did not intend to cause his own death, his actions set in motion a chain of events which led to the death” of Moules, the report found. Moules’ death was ruled a case of homicide, Gilliam’s an accident.

Investigators said the incident began late Monday, when Gilliam initiated a “heated discussion” while dinner trays were being distributed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Moules was trying to handcuff the 27-yeaer-old Gilliam when the inmate pulled the guard backward into the closed door, which gave way and then closed behind them.

“The control room (guard) who was attempting to assist braced himself on the elevator doorway before nearly falling into the shaft himself,” the report said.

The coroner concluded that both men died of injuries from the 59-foot fall. The criminal investigation was closed.

Moules, 25, was hired by the prison in September.

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