Earnest Lee Hargon, who killed three relatives - including a 4-year-old boy - and dumped their bodies in Covington, was stabbed to death Tuesday night in the maximum security unit at the state prison in Parchman.
Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said Hargon, 46, died at the prison hospital after being stabbed about 8:53 p.m.
Epps said Hargon was cleaning a tier at Unit 32 when inmate Jessie Wilson broke out of his cell and attacked Hargon with a homemade knife, stabbing him multiple times. Charges were pending against Wilson while the investigation continued.
Sunflower County Coroner Douglas Card said Hargon was stabbed 30 times.
In February 2004, Hargon used a gun and strangulation to kill his cousin, 27-year-old Michael Hargon, Michael's wife, 29-year-old Rebecca Hargon, and their son, 4-year-old son, James Patrick.
The 17-day search for the family captured the country's attention.
Their bodies were found buried in a wooded area in Covington County on March 1st, 2004. The family had been missing since February 14th, 2004.
Epps said Wilson was originally sentenced out of Leake County for grand larceny in 2000 and Harrison County for aggravated assault in 2003. These convictions earned him a combined eight years of incarceration.
Since his incarceration, Wilson has received 98 disciplinary actions for infractions classified as either serious or major, 64 were for violent acts. Of these disciplinary actions, three were for stabbing correctional officers and six have resulted in additional convictions in Sunflower County for an additional 15 years in prison, Epps said.
At the time of the stabbing, Epps said work was being done at Unit 32 to encase air vents, add solid steel doors, reinforce exercise pens and installation of Icon control systems for in-cell plumbing.
Earnest Lee Hargon is the third inmate killed since June in Unit 32, which has been under intense scrutiny since the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections over conditions there.
Boris Harper was killed in June by a fellow inmate who fashioned a spear out of a mop handle.
Donald Reed was killed and two others were injured when 10 inmates with homemade knives attacked seven others in what was called gang violence by Epps.