RI CO placed on leave as investigation continues into death of inmate
"We will let the investigation play out to determine what happened," an official said
By Katie Mulvaney
CRANSTON, R.I. — A corrections officer has been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues into the death of a Lincoln man facing double murder charges while in custody of the Adult Correctional Institutions.
A spokesman for the state Department of Corrections confirmed Wednesday that an officer had been placed on leave as the death of 49-year-old Timothy McQuesten is being investigated by the Rhode Island State Police in conjunction with the department.
McQuesten was found unresponsive Monday night in his single cell at the state prison's Intake Service Center in Cranston, according to corrections officials.
He was taken to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The death is under investigation but foul play is not suspected, spokesman J.R. Ventura said.
McQuesten was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Friday on two counts of murder in the beating deaths of Kimberly and Mark Dupre. District Court Judge Elaine Bucci set a competency hearing for Jan. 28.
McQuesten expressed concern at his arraignment that his antipsychotic medicine was missing.
“I don’t know all the nuances of what’s going on exactly. I just know that I don’t have my antipsychotic medicine, Klonopin. I don’t know where it went or how it got lost. All of my other meds were transported,” McQuesten told the court.
Klonopin is used to treat seizures, panic disorders and anxiety.
McQuesten was placed on crisis status at the ACI's intake center. Prisoners found to be at risk are isolated from other inmates, with their socks and shoes removed. They are provided a smock to ensure they can’t injure themselves, Richard Ferruccio, president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, said. They receive increased supervision, with checks sometimes as often as every 10 minutes.
“Our role is to prevent him from using any items that can be self-injurious,” Ferruccio said.
Sources say McQuesten choked on his mask.
“Our goal is to prevent that from happening again. Obviously there were some breakdowns,” Ferruccio said.
Ferruccio emphasized that the ACI has had a good record at preventing such incidents.
“We will let the investigation play out to determine what happened,” he said. The union will represent the unnamed officer if he faces discipline.
Kimberly and Mark Dupre, 60 and 65 respectively, were found bludgeoned in their home in the Manville section of Lincoln early last Thursday by police responding to a reported disturbance. Kimberly Dupre was found dead at the scene, while Mark Dupre was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.
A motive for the killings is not clear.
Authorities believe that McQuesten’s mother was a friend of the Dupres, so much so that they looked after McQuesten and his brother after their mother’s death, according to state prosecutors.
McQuesten had a falling out with Kimberly several years ago from unknown reasons.
Investigators learned that McQuesten had reached out to the Dupres “out of the blue” by phone the night before the murder for unknown reasons, prosecutors said.
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