Timisoara policeman’s killer hangs himself in the prison cell

Marcel Ionel Lepa, the man who killed a policeman in Timisoara one week ago, has hung himself in his prison cell in Popa Sapca Penitentiary in the city. The doctors tried to resuscitate him but without success.

Judiciary sources told local media that Lepa had hung himself with a bedsheet in the detention room’s bathroom, being found by guards this morning, around 06:30hrs. Despite CPR procedures, the inmate was pronounced dead at 07:15hrs.

The killer was alone in the cell and was in quarantine.

Marcel Ionel Lepa should have been brought before the judges of the Timisoara Court of Appeal today, where his appeal against his preventive arrest was supposed to be judged.

During hearings on Friday, June 7, Lepa admitted he had killed the police officer, saying he regrets his deed and that he did not intend to kill him, but just to shoot in the policeman’s feet. He risked a prison sentenced of at least 30 years.

An internal check has started at the penitentiary in Timisoara to establish the circumstances in which the prisoner killed himself.

Marcel Ionel Lepa who shot a police officer in Timis County last Sunday while he was chased by a patrol car, but he managed to runaway from the scene. Lepa was arrested last Tuesday by the law enforcement officials. Lepa was transported to the Timişoara Municipal Hospital by ambulance and the doctors decided to operate him, due to the injuries suffered during the attempted remand operation on Sunday. According to the doctors, the bullet that hit him in the chest did not come out.

The penitentiary trade unionists have told a press release that the suicide rate in penitentiaries across Romania is lower than in other European states and shows that inmates who intend to kill themselves are usually trying to hide this, so that they could not be prevented from doing it.

In the Romanian penitentiaries, the suicide rate is 3.95 on the average reported to 10,000 inmates, so, below the one in Norway (30), France(12.4), Belgium (11) or Portugal (9.1). The suicide rate in the Romanian prisons are three times lower than among citizens of Romania. Prisoners are usually taking their lives using items that are allowed to keep in their rooms: bedsheets, blankets, pillowcases, clothes, razor blades of improvised sharp objects,” reads the press release.

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