Coronavirus: Illinois inmate serving life for child’s slaying dies of COVID-19

Coronavirus: Illinois inmate serving life for child’s slaying dies of COVID-19
Ronald Rice died Sunday from the coronavirus, prison officials said. He was eligible for parole in 2048. (Illinois Department of Corrections)

MORRIS, Ill. — An Illinois inmate serving a life sentence in the slaying of an 11-year-old boy died Sunday after contracting the coronavirus, prison officials said.

According to WLS-TV, Ronald Rice, 66, who was incarcerated at the Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, died at a hospital in Morris, the Grundy County Coroner’s Office said in a statement.

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Prison officials did not release any other information about Rice’s death, the television station reported.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Rice had been an inmate since 1984 and was not eligible for parole until 2048, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Rice was originally sentenced for kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy from Calumet City, the newspaper reported. In 2010, Rice pleaded guilty to the 1980 sexual assault and murder of Eddie Gulbransen, 11, of Oak Forest, the Tribune reported.

Rice is the second inmate at the prison to die from coronavirus, WTVO reported. On Sunday, 26 staff members and 56 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, the television station reported.