Kenneth Justus, a death-row inmate at Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville, killed himself early Tuesday, said Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet.

Justus, 47, was found dead in his cell.

“I am ruling his death a suicide,” Nisbet said.

Justus was discovered covered in blood with a razor blade still in his hand, Nisbet said Wednesday.

The wound that led to his death was self-inflicted in the crease of his elbow, Nisbet said.

“He apparently cut himself with the razor blade in the early a.m. hours,” Nisbet said.

In 2008, Justus received the death penalty for stabbing a fellow inmate, Justin Bregenzer, 22, of James Island, at least 11 times with a homemade knife.

Justus confessed to the 2005 crime. At the time, Justus was serving two life sentences for the armed robbery and shotgun-killing of two Oconee County residents in incidents that occurred a year apart.

Justus attacked Bregenzer with a shank, leaving behind what authorities said was a bloody crime scene that led straight back to him. Officials have not disclosed a reason for the slaying, but believe it may be have been tied to money.

Bregenzer had originally been sentenced to prison as a youthful offender for a nonviolent offense that included breaking into a vehicle in Mount Pleasant.

He was given additional time for escape after he walked away from a trash-pickup detail, and as a result he was sent to Lieber, one of the state prisons with the highest level of security.

Bregenzer’s family filed a wrongful-death suit against the Department of Corrections.

A $47,500 out-of-court settlement was negotiated in which the DOC admitted to no wrongdoing by prison officials.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.