Death of inmate at Columbia prison under investigation

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PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- Sheriff's officials say the death of an inmate at the Columbia Correctional Institution is under investigation.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office says the death of 68-year-old Larry Bracey Jr. appears to be from natural causes, but toxicology test results are still pending.

Paramedics were called to a restrictive housing unit at the maximum-security men's prison in Portage on Dec. 3, where Bracey was pronounced dead in his cell.

Meanwhile, the state prison remained on a lockdown that began Nov. 8 following three assaults by inmates on staff members. Inmates are mainly confined to their cells and get bagged meals.

Phone privileges, visitations and canteen distributions have also been suspended.