David Sweat - convicted of killing Broome County sheriff's deputy Kevin Tarsia - is refusing to eat and state prison officials want permission to forcibly feed him.

The Albany Times Union reports Sweat started a hunger strike last month after he was transferred from an Ulster County prison to the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County.

The 41-year-old Sweat is serving a life sentence for his role in killing of Tarsia on the Fourth of July in 2002. Tarsia was repeatedly shot and run over by a vehicle in a Kirkwood park.

According to the Times Union, the prison superintendent has filed a petition for permission to forcibly feed, medicate and hydrate Sweat.

The petition indicates Sweat decided to stop eating because he wanted to be transferred out of the Great Meadow prison, which is located north of Glens Falls.

Four years ago, Sweat was transferred from Attica state prison following a five-month hunger strike. In that case, Sweat said he stopped eating because prison guards had threatened to poison his food.

Prison officials now want permission to forcibly feed Sweat because, according to the superintendent's petition, he "risks serious imminent medical consequences including organ failure and death."

Sweat and fellow inmate Richard Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in June 2015. Matt was shot and killed after an extensive search. Sweat was injured when he was shot by a state trooper. He was returned to prison after he recuperated.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com.

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