The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the death of an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has identified the victim as Shane Lawrence Cooper, DOB 5-28-83. Cooper died of homicide due to strangulation.
At approximately 4:50 p.m. on Monday, December 2, Cooper was found on the floor in his cell deceased and with a ligature around his neck. A surveillance camera captured another inmate, Benjamin Heath Beck, DOB 1-6-74, entering Cooper’s cell shortly before Cooper was found deceased. BCA agents have interviewed Beck and have identified him as the sole suspect in Cooper’s death.
The BCA is conducting its investigation with assistance from the Department of Corrections Office of Special Investigations and at the request of the Oak Park Heights Police Department and the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights. When the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.