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Rush City, MN(KROC AM News) - A Minnesota inmate who was serving time for murdering his mother with a machete is dead after apparently being attacked by his cellmate.

According to the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, the incident happened at the state prison in Rush City late Sunday night.

The department says corrections officers found 56-year-old James Howard in his cell suffering from injuries to his face and head. They tried reviving Howard but he was pronounced dead about an hour later. His cellmate was taken into custody.

The case is being treated as a suspected homicide.

Howard was serving a sentence for attacking his 68-year-old mother with a machete in 2011. He pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree murder and was sentenced in 2012 to 34 years in prison. The DOC says Howard was scheduled to be released in 2034.

Minnesota DOC
Minnesota DOC

The 29-year-old cellmate was serving two sentences for assault convictions. He was scheduled for release in May this year.

The last time an incarcerated person died following an altercation with another inmate in a state prison was in 2013 at the Oak Park Heights facility.

News update:  Man suspected in the murder of a former Rochester teacher may be headed to Minnesota.

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