Inmate stabbed to death at NC prison, its second fatal attack in less than a year

An inmate at Columbus Correctional Institution was stabbed to death late Saturday, prompting a lockdown at the eastern North Carolina prison, the N.C. Department of Public Safety said Sunday.

It was the second stabbing death of an inmate at the medium-custody prison in Whiteville, about 55 miles west of Wilmington, in less than a year.

Inmate Scott Whitmeyer, 49, was attacked with a homemade weapon and stabbed multiple times in a prison dormitory, the department said. Prison inmates often make home-made knives, known as shanks, from pieces of metal, plastic and wood, The Charlotte Observer has reported.

The assault took place at about 9:45 p.m. Saturday, the department said. Prison staff tried to resuscitate Whitmeyer, but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 10:45 p.m.

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the assault, and DPS said it is conducting an internal investigation. DPS said it will seek prosecution of the attacker or attackers.

Whitmeyer was convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping in Cumberland County in 2014, the department said. He was projected to be released in 2030.

Another inmate was stabbed to death at Columbus Correctional in November 2018, The Observer has reported.

Inmate Gregory Adams, Jr. , 35, was assaulted and killed in that attack. Adams had been serving time for attempted murder.

Columbus Correctional, like many of North Carolina’s prisons, has struggled to fill its officer positions, The Observer has reported.