WARREN — A 28-year-old Lewiston man had asked to be moved to another room out of concern for his safety shortly before he died, according to another inmate who has since been released from the Bolduc Correctional Facility.
Dana R. Bartlett died shortly before 6 p.m. June 24 at the facility also known as the prison farm.
The state is releasing few details on the death that occurred nearly six weeks ago.
Jason Palmiter, who was released July 6 after serving nearly nine years in prison for robbery, said he spoke with Bartlett the day he died.
Bartlett had gone to a corrections officer and asked to be moved to another cell because he was being threatened, Palmiter said. The other people in his cell had suspected him of stealing some cigarettes, according to Palmiter.
Bartlett then voiced his concern to Palmiter, commenting that the guard did not seem concerned and did nothing, Palmiter said.
Three sources have reported that multiple inmates from Bolduc were transferred to the maximum-security Maine State Prison, also in Warren after Bartlett died.
No one has been charged with any crime related to Bartlett’s death. The cause of his death has not been released.
After Bartlett was found dead, inmates were moved to the gymnasium while the Maine State Police investigated, Palmiter said. The inmates spent much of the night in the gym.
There are four people to a room at the Bolduc Center which has a capacity to hold 220 inmates with a staff of 65.
Palmiter said Bartlett was a kind man, noting he offered compassion when Palmiter’s daughter died recently in a car crash.
A former roommate of Bartlett also said Bartlett was a kind man.
“He had the biggest heart of anyone I knew, hands down,” said Daniel Mosier-Barbour.
The two were roommates in Lewiston for a year until Bartlett was arrested for the offenses that sent him to prison.
Bartlett had been sentenced March 22 in Androscoggin Superior Court to 16 months in prison for driving a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked as a habitual offender.
He was scheduled to be released March 28, 2019.
Bartlett suffered from serious diabetes and did not work in the year the two were roommates, Mosier-Barbour said.
“It just kills me to think that he’s gone,” he said.
An email was sent Thursday morning to Corrections Commissioner Joseph Fitzpatrick, requesting comment about Palmiter’s comments. There was no response.
He did not comment on whether any administrative actions have been taken against the corrections officer.