A 57-year-old Rush City prison inmate is the fifth Minnesota prisoner to die of COVID-19.
John Craig Heuer, a former truck driver based in St. Cloud, died late Saturday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, the corrections department said Monday. He was recently diagnosed with COVID-19, the department said.
According to court records, in 2011 Heuer was serving a prison sentence for criminal sexual behavior with a victim under the age of 13. His expected release date was January 2024. He is the fifth inmate from four Minnesota prisons to succumb to the virus.
On Monday, the correction department also identified two other inmates who had died of COVID-19 in early November.
Peter Clare Hoagland, 73, a retired businessman detained in maximum security in Oak Park Heights Prison, died on November 24th.
Hoagland, who owned a Willmar retail store, was convicted of eight sexual assault offenses against victims under 13 in 2015. His attacks on several boys reportedly took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Hoagland was serving an amended 176-month sentence after his application for a reduction in prison sentence was partially approved in 2016. He recently tested positive for COVID-19 while receiving medical care for terminal cancer. The agency said it was not known where he was infected with the virus.
Charles Paul Jacobson, 65, of Becida, Minnesota, died November 1. The Stillwater inmate was serving a life sentence for the death of his 21-year-old nephew in 2004.
Jacobson’s death came the day after he was rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for an illness that was not believed to be related to COVID-19, a department spokesman said. He was evaluated and released to prison, where he died, the press release said.
DOC’s two previous deaths from COVID-19 were previously identified as Leroy Wallace Bergstrom, 71, who died June 27, and Adrian Raymaar Keys, 43, who died June 23. Both men were serving prison terms at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Faribault.
A total of 2,955 prison inmates in Minnesota became infected with the virus. This is based on DOC data last updated Nov. 29, and 12 are currently in the hospital. Two prisoners were in critical condition and were being treated by ventilators in external hospitals, the department said on Sunday.
COVID-19 also affects staff. According to the latest DOC data, 807 employees had either been confirmed or were suspected of having contracted the virus. Of these, 273 still had to work for the last status update on Sunday.
Several DOC employees also stayed in hospital because of the corona virus, the department announced on Sunday.
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