State police probing inmate’s Aug. 4 death

Posted Aug. 20, 2010, at 9:29 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — State police are investigating the death earlier this month of a prison inmate who was serving a 27-year sentence for murder.

James Nadeau, 66, was found dead on Aug. 4 in his cell at the Maine State Prison in Warren, Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, reported in his weekly newsletter.

McCausland said foul play is not suspected.

“We do know that he had medical issues,” McCausland said. He said that the state medical examiner’s office is conducting additional tests before issuing a ruling on the cause of Nadeau’s death.

Nadeau, formerly of Norway, was convicted in the shooting death of his former girlfriend Barbara Bassett at her home in Sweden.

Denise Lord, the state’s associate commissioner of corrections, could not be reached for comment early Friday evening.

Nadeau’s was one of two inmate deaths on Aug. 4.

The other, according to published reports, occurred at Cumberland County Jail, where a 45-year-old man died. That inmate has been described as a transient with chronic alcoholism. Foul play also was not suspected in that case.