Sources: ‘Southside Rapist’ identified as Trousdale inmate who died after testing positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus

HARTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An inmate housed at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, who tested positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital, has passed away. The 67-year-old man died Monday morning at 1:20 am. The exact cause of his death is pending official determination from the medical examiner.

Tennessee Department of Correction has not released the identity of the inmate, but News 2 has confirmed through multiple sources that the 67-year-old man was Ronnie Johnson.

Ronnie Johnson was dubbed the “Southside Rapist” after several women came forward in the early 1980s to report violent attacks, all of which occurred on the south side of Lebanon. He was convicted of aggravated rape in 1982 served 34 years in prison.

Johnson was granted parole in 2016 but returned to prison two years later after violating terms of his parole.

Lindsey Neal, Ronnie Johnson’s sister, told News 2 she saw her brother for the final time Sunday over FaceTime, “He was in Sumner Regional Hospital on a respirator and couldn’t even talk. He was in a coma,” Neal said.

You can read the statement released by the Tennessee Department of Correction Tuesday morning below:

An inmate who was taken to a local hospital last week for an assessment has passed away. The 67-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 while in the hospital and died Monday morning at 1:20 am. The exact cause of his death is pending official determination from the medical examiner.

The inmate, who was housed at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, was transported to the hospital on April 25 and was tested for COVID-19. Currently, six Tennessee inmates who are COVID-19 positive are hospitalized. One is in serious condition.

The Department of Correction announced on Friday, May 1 that it would conduct another round of mass testing of all inmates and staff in TDOC prisons. CoreCivic will also conduct mass testing for staff and inmates at the facilities it operates.

Testing for staff began Monday at the Middle Tennessee facilities and will continue throughout the state this week.

Last week, TDOC confirmed more than 1,246 COVID-19 positive cases, out of 2,450 total tests, among staff and inmates at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Trousdale County, following a targeted testing event at the facility that began on April 28.

Soon after TDOC announced the results, CoreCivic released results from the same facility that included different totals. Their results included 1,299 positive tests from inmates and 50 positive tests from staff.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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