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Inmate at Lancaster County Prison convicted of 2017 beating another inmate

LANCASTER — An inmate at Lancaster County Prison already serving decades for rape and aggravated assault was recently convicted of the brutal beating of another inmate last year.

Tomas Matthews, 39, kicked and punched the victim until he was unconscious, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. He followed the victim to his cell, closed the cell door, and began beating him, according to testimony presented by Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield.

Matthews was already serving a sentence of 33 to 70 months for his rape and aggravated assault conviction.

The jury deliberated about 45 minutes before convicting Matthews of charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, and two counts of unlawful restraint in connection with the recent attack.

In addition to beating the victim, Matthews punched the victim’s cellmate to silence his calls for help, according to testimony.

The victim sustained brain bleeds, along with facial and skull fractures. A neurosurgeon testified that the victim required two brain surgeries to save his life.

Mansfield also called prison personnel to testify.

Matthews claimed self-defense at trial.

Lancaster County Judge Donald Totaro, who presided over the trial, will order sentence after a background check is completed.