Bolivar Inmate Slashes Throat

By Richard Gazarik
Tribune-Review

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A fugitive with a lengthy criminal history who eluded police for nearly three months broke off the edge of a disposable razor in his Westmoreland County Prison cell, hacked at his neck’s carotid artery and bled to death Tuesday, said Warden John Walton.

David McGinnis, 44, was shaving for a court appearance before Common Pleas Judge Alfred Bell, who had issued a bench warrant for the Bolivar man’s arrest in March.

As McGinnis shaved, his cellmate was lying on the top bunk.

“The cellmate heard him shaving and the water running. When he looked down, he saw him laying in bed with blood rushing out of his neck,” Walton said.

McGinnis spent 12 of the past 24 years in state prisons and halfway houses on convictions for arsons, burglary, receiving stolen property and theft, according to the state Department of Corrections.

On March 15, he fled when state troopers went to his home to arrest him on an insurance fraud charge. That night, he set fire to his home, police said. He eluded a weeklong state police manhunt. Federal marshals arrested him May 28 in Columbia, S.C.

McGinnis was still breathing yesterday when he was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, Walton said. The inmate was pronounced dead at 8:50 a.m. The coroner’s office said McGinnis bled to death from a wound in the left side of his neck.


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