BERLIN, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Corrections is investigating the death of a prisoner who was serving a life sentence for murder.

The Corrections Department says 65-year-old Joel Smith was found unresponsive at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin. Corrections officers and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures on Smith.

The state’s medical examiner is investigating the death and Smith’s next of kin have been notified.

In 1979, Smith was convicted of murder in Maine and given a life sentence.

Smith and a co-defendant were convicted of killing 17-year-old Gary Nadeau, who had told police that Smith had sold him marijuana. Nadeau was taken to woods near Perham, beaten, placed in a shallow grave and stabbed with a sword.

Smith was sent to New Hampshire in 1995 as part of an Interstate Compact process with Maine.


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