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$6 million settlement reached over SC prison riot that killed 7 inmates

The riot happened back on April 15, 2018 at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Corrections will pay $6 million in a settlement to resolve lawsuits after a riot that killed seven inmates at maximum security prison in 2018.

The South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Authority met Tuesday morning and gave permission to settle 81 cases related to the incident.

The riot happened back on April 15, 2018 at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville. Officials have said the violence was the worst U.S. prison riot in 25 years

The seven inmates killed were Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, Cornelius Quantral McClary, Michael Milledge, Damonte Marquez Rivera, Raymond Angelo Scott, and Corey Scott.

RELATED: Wrongful death suits filed in SC prison riot that left seven dead

In addition to the seven inmates who were died, 22 others were hurt. The fighting lasting over seven hours, spreading into three housing units. No guards were seriously hurt.   

Most of the seven people killed were stabbed or slashed while others appeared to have been beaten. An inmate at the scene told the Associated Press in 2018 that bodies were "literally stacked on top of each other."  Lee County Coroner Larry Logan said it appeared most of the deaths were a result of stabbing or slashing. Some victims may have been beaten to death.

Investigators say it started over contraband, cell phones and gang territory. Stirling said last year his agency made improvements at Lee Correctional Institution and other facilities to make them more secure. That included netting, additional staffing, body scanners, and other improvements.  

RELATED: 29 charged in SC prison riot that left 7 inmates dead

Last December, a state grand jury indicted more than 29 individuals believed to have been involved in the riot, the first criminal charges in the case. The suspects were charged with 79 different criminal counts ranging from murder to criminal conspiracy and assault.

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