An inmate with a long criminal history in Columbia and Lafayette counties was found dead in his prison cell on Tuesday morning.
Danny Cromeans, 38, who was serving a life sentence for rape, used a bed sheet to hang himself in a single-man cell at the Supermax Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction in Varner, spokeswoman Dina Tyler said.
Tyler said that Cromeans was last seen alive about 3 a.m. He was found dead at 6:08 a.m. Cromeans was being held at the Supermax unit due to disciplinary problems, Tyler said.
The Arkansas State Police will investigate Cromeans’ death, which is standard procedure in such cases.
Cromeans was sentenced July 19, 2002 by Lafayette County Circuit Court to life in prison for rape, and to an additional 240 months on a related kidnapping count.
In January 1996, Cromeans was sentenced by Columbia County Circuit Court to 10 years in prison on separate counts of residential burglary and criminal mischief first degree.
Cromeans was released shortly thereafter but wound back up in the Columbia County Jail on a rape charge when, on Saturday, November 22, 1997, he escaped from the jail with two other men. The jail was then located at the corner of Jefferson and Calhoun in Magnolia.
Cromeans was caught two days later in Caddo Parish, LA.
One of his fellow escapees was John Steven Brantley, 45, who was later sentenced to 35 years in prison for first-degree murder. Brantley remains incarcerated at the Cummins Unit.
In January 2013, the Arkansas Parole Board found a request Cromeans had made for a commutation of his sentence as being “without merit.”
In 2010, Cromeans suffered another legal setback when a federal court tossed a complaint he made as "frivolous."
Cromeans alleged that the circuit court judge and prosecutor in his rape case were related, and that the husband of the stepmother of his victim was related to the jury foreman. Cromeans said the jury foreman, at the family's urging, sought a life sentence.
The case was reassigned to the Texarkana Division of the Western District federal court, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant investigated the allegations.
The court's order said Bryant recommended that the plaintiff's request to proceed in the case as a pauper be denied. It also ordered "that all claims against the judge and prosecutor “be dismissed on the grounds that they are frivolous, fail to state claims upon which relief and be granted, and seek relief against defendants who are immune from suit." ..Source.. by KZHE.com