A press release by the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) announced that Jerry Thomas Tapp, a Wyoming inmate, died on Oct. 4 at the Community Hospital in Torrington at the age of 79.

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According to the release, Tapp was convicted of aggravated assault and battery and attempt to injure with a weapon in Sheridan County and was sentenced to six to 10 years in prison by Fourth District Court Judge Fenn on June 1, 2021.

Originally, Tapp was charged with attempted murder in the second degree and one count of reckless endangerment for an incident that took place on March 16 2020, but as part of a plea deal was able to dismiss the charge of reckless endangerment.

Tapp was born on May 23, 1942 in Curlew, Iowa and was an inmate at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death, as per WDOC policy.

Paul Martin, deputy administrator for the transparency division with the WDOC, said they are not able to release any other information about Tapp's health or cause of death until an autopsy is performed.

Martin said he believes this is the fifth inmate death so far this year, which is similar to the number for 2020, but below the previous six years, with three inmates having died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year.

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