Widow of slain Ore. inmate says his pleas ignored

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A lawyer for the widow of an inmate fatally injured last February in his cell at an Oregon prison has filed a legal claim alleging the man would still be alive if prison staff had answered his requests for protection.

In the claim, Michael Hagen's widow Tiffany said this week she plans to sue because Snake River Correctional Institution staff treated her husband's complaints with "deliberate indifference." The state Corrections Department declined comment.

The 28-year-old Hagen was serving time for robbing a Portland check-cashing store and severely beating a clerk. He was found unconscious in his cell at the Ontario prison on Feb. 2 and died in an Idaho hospital. He died of head injuries. State Police have said the suspect is his cellmate.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/5W0O6S ) that lawyer Dennis Steinman says Hagen was targeted by other inmates because of the nature of his crime, his refusal to fight back and because he would not "pay 'rent' to fellow cellmates for the privilege of being housed by them."

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com