In the Sioux Falls, South Dakota correctional system, an investigation is being conducted to confirm accidental asphyxiation is indeed the cause of death for inmate Wade Aikins, 54, was found Saturday morning in his cell at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. He was unresponsive.
A short statement issued by South Dakota State News stated that a preliminary investigation concluded that he accidentally asphyxiated, but an autopsy will have to be done to confirm the initial findings.
Aikins was found guilty of murdering Trooper Oren Hindman in 1985. According to news reports, Trooper Hindman was giving Aikins a ride after his girlfriend was arrested for a DUI. While in the back seat of the patrol car, Aikins stabbed the trooper in the neck.
Aikins and his girlfriend escaped on foot, and Trooper Hindman drove himself to the hospital but died before he could undergo surgery. He had been with the Highway Patrol for six and a half years and left behind a wife and daughter.
Inmate Aikins was serving a life sentence for second-degree murder of the trooper. In 1994, he received consecutive 5-year sentences in Bon Homme County, which he was also serving, for an attempted escape and the possession of a weapon by an inmate.
It is worth noting that asphyxiation is the result of a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause it, and it is often a result of internal factors such as heart problems or certain types of illnesses.
It can also be the result of choking or strangulation, but in the case of Wade Aikins, investigators feel that his death was completely accidental.