Inmate stabbing death being Investigated as a possible homicide

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Arizona Dept. of Corrections) (Source: Arizona Dept. of Corrections)

The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) is investigating the death of a prison inmate.

The death of Christopher M. Bendel, 30, is being called a suspected homicide.

Bendel was found unresponsive on Saturday around 9:03 a.m. in a large outdoor recreation enclosure.

Officials say he had multiple stab wounds.

Paramedics transported Bendel to the hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead at approximately 10:14 a.m.

While all inmate deaths are investigated in consultation with the county medical examiner's office, ADC criminal investigators have reasonable cause to suspect gang-related foul play may have been involved.

Several inmate-made weapons were recovered at the scene.

An investigation is currently being conducted, and the department intends to fully pursue criminal prosecution of any suspect(s) identified to be involved in this case.

Bendel was serving an eight-year sentence for armed robbery.

His assigned housing location was the maximum custody SMU I Unit at Arizona State Prison Complex–Eyman.

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