Spring Creek Prison Death Ruled Homicide

The death of an inmate at Seward’s Spring Creek maximum security prison has been ruled a homicide. In the early hours of Sunday, 29-year-old Elihu Gillespie was found unresponsive in his cell, and taken to Providence Seward Medical Care Center. Gillespie was pronounced dead about an hour later.

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On investigation, state authorities have ruled the death the result of an inmate-on-inmate assault.

Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen, would not say if a weapon was used, and said details would come out in the report.

Gillespie had been sentenced to 50 years, with 29 suspended, after his conviction in a 2009 shooting that left two other men dead.

Ipsen says no charges have currently been filed against the other inmate in the continuing investigation. According to Troopers, Gillespie’s cellmate, 25-year-old Jason Rak, has been identified as the suspect. Rak has been serving a 29 -year sentence for attempted murder in a 2008 shooting at the Dimond Center mall in Anchorage.

According to Troopers, Gillespie and Rak were held in the segregation unit, and both have a history of disciplinary actions within the corrections system. In December of last year, Rak was involved in an assault on another inmate, who sustained critical injuries.