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Associated Press, Published August 22 2013

Suspect identified in Oregon inmate’s death

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Oregon State Penitentiary inmate found dead in his cell last week was strangled and a cellmate with multiple murders on his record is the suspect, the state police said.

Joseph Akins, a 45-year-old convicted murderer, was found dead Saturday at the Salem prison. Cellmate Craig Bjork was immediately placed in a segregation unit at the prison, but he was not publicly named as the suspect until Wednesday.

State police say criminal charges against the 53-year-old Bjork will be determined by the Marion County District Attorney’s Office when the investigation is over and the case is ready for a grand jury.

Bjork, 53, has been in the Oregon prison since January, when he transferred from Minnesota on an interstate compact.

In Minnesota, Bjork was convicted in the murders of his two young sons in 1982, his girlfriend and a Minneapolis prostitute. According to court records, Bjork was harassed in prison during the 1980s for being a child killer and was transferred from Minnesota to a Montana prison. He was returned to Minnesota following an escape attempt.

According to court records, on Thanksgiving Day 1997, in a kitchen area, Bjork used a plumber’s pipe to murder fellow inmate Edwin Curry, a 41-year-old convicted sex offender who was due to be released the following year.


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