UPDATE: Details emerge on prison victim

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - jandes@timesleader.com
Luzerne County prison -

WILKES-BARRE — The death of a 21-year-old Luzerne County prison inmate was ruled a suicide caused by asphyxia due to hanging, the county coroner’s office said Thursday.

Hailey Povisil, of Wilkes-Barre, was found unresponsive in her cell around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and was pronounced dead at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital at 10:07 p.m., according to a prison statement released Wednesday.

She is the fourth female inmate to die at the Water Street prison in less than a year.

She was locked up Saturday after a hearing on a bench warrant for failure to appear for a court proceeding, officials said.

Povisil had been facing promoting prostitution and federal firearm charges, the prison said.

Court records reviewed Thursday shed light on the circumstances leading to the prostitution charge.

It stems from a May 27, 2016, incident at the Motel 6 on Schechter Drive in Wilkes-Barre Township, according to an arrest affidavit.

Here are more details from court filings:

Police were called to the motel at around 7:45 a.m. to investigate a report of three people arguing on the fourth floor.

Manager Sam Patel told police two women and a man had been fighting and were staying in Room 413, but the women were not signed into any rooms or permitted to be on motel grounds.

Ashley Rae Luczak, 29, answered when police knocked on the door, saying she had been arguing with her boyfriend, who left when he heard police were summoned due to his active warrants. Luczak was informed she must leave the property because she was not properly signed in.

When police asked Luczak if there were any other people in the room or anything they should be aware of, she said there was a pack of syringes and a small amount of marijuana in the room and her friend was hiding in the bathroom.

Police identified the woman in the bathroom as Hailey-Korynn Povisil, 21.

Povisil repeatedly told police she was staying in Room 422, but management said that room was rented to a woman named Janine Schwartz, which Povisil was using as an alias. Police followed Povisil as she entered Room 422. While searching a purse in the room to verify belongings, officers found an identification card and two fraudulent credit cards in the name of Schwartz and an ID card belonging to Povisil.

Police asked why she was staying at the motel under a false name, and Povisil said she was a prostitute and had performed sexual acts for a male client for $200 within the previous 24 hours. Police found a small bag containing marijuana, a Xanax pill and condoms near the bed.

While in custody, Povisil issued a written statement about her involvement in prostitution and placement of prostitution advertisements at www.backpage.com.

These advertisements were located and logged into evidence. Her cell phone also contained nude photos that had been posted to the website and text messages referring to sexual acts for money. One text indicated she knew the credit cards were fraudulent.

In addition to the prostitution charge, she faced a count of counterfeit device possession.

The charges were dismissed Thursday due to her death.

The backpage website has been linked to prostitution allegations in multiple states.

Previous deaths

Povisil’s death continues a string of them at the prison.

Two inmates died from hangings deemed suicides last year — Brooke Griesing on June 8 and Tricia Cooper on July 25. Meanwhile, the July 7 death of Joan Rosengrant was ruled accidental; it was caused by the combined effect of prescription drugs complicated by her unspecified physical condition, officials determined.

Luzerne County prison
https://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/web1_lccf01-6.jpgLuzerne County prison
Death officially ruled suicide

By Jennifer Learn-Andes


Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.