Inmate dies from non-COVID medical issue

SMYRNA — On Tuesday, a 64-year-old inmate at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, died suddenly at the prison after suffering medical distress, authorities said.

According to the Delaware Department of Correction, Preston Tucker’s medical issue was not related to COVID-19.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., a medical emergency was called when Tucker complained of chest pain and shortness of breath, spokesman Paul Shavack said. Prison medical and security staff immediately responded to the housing unit to render medical assistance. A transfer to the prison infirmary was initiated.

Initially responsive and alert, during transport to the infirmary, according to the DOC, Tucker became unresponsive and security and nursing staff initiated CPR until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.
Despite continued lifesaving measures Tucker could not be revived, the DOC said. He was pronounced dead by Kent County EMS at 9:45 a.m.
Tucker, of Wilmington, has been in DOC custody since 1987 and was serving a life sentence for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

His body was released to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science to determine cause of death. The DOC said preliminary investigation indicated that there were no suspicious circumstances and no foul play suspected at this time.

Over the past 15 weeks there have been no inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the building where Tucker was housed, the DOC said.