SALEM – The man suspected of killing his cellmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary murdered a fellow inmate in a Minnesota prison in 1997.
Craig Dennis Bjork, 53, was identified as the inmate suspected of strangling 45-year-old Joseph Akins, who was found dead in his cell Saturday, according to Marion County Deputy District Attorney Paige Clarkson.
Bjork entered the Oregon Department of Corrections of Jan. 16, 2013 on an interstate compact from Minnesota where he was serving three consecutive life sentences for the 1982 murders of his 1- and 3-year-old boys, his girlfriend and another woman, according to a 1997 article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
In 1997, Bjork beat fellow inmate Edwin Curry, 41, to death with a pipe in a basement kitchen area in the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Stillwater. He told guards he planned to kill several more inmates if he had time, the Star Tribune reported.
Bjork and Akins shared a cell together in the C-Block of the Oregon State Penitentiary. On Sunday, the Oregon State Medical Examiner determined Akins died of “inflicted trauma.”
Bjork was held in segregation as the investigation continued.
Once the investigation is complete, the DA’s office will determine the criminal charges against Bjork and prepare the case for the grand jury.
Akins was convicted of murder in Multnomah County in January 2008. According to the Oregonian, he was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison 14 years after raping and murdering a Milwaukie wife and mother of two.
Background: Convicted Ore. murderer killed in prison