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TX Guards Charged in Beating Murder

On October 7, 1994, 15 of about 300 prisoners in the recreation yard of the Terrell Prison Unit in Livingston, TX, attacked prison staff.  One guard suffered a broken nose. Prison guards beat several prisoners in retaliation for the attack. On October 9, 1994, Michael McCoy died in a hospital after being found in his cell unconscious with head injuries. He was serving a six year sentence for burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

On October 12, 1994, prison guards Alex Torres and Joel Lambright were charged with murder in McCoy's death and released on $50,000 bail. Both guards were relatively new guards, hired in January and February, 1994, respectively. The prison opened in December, 1993. Andy Collins, Texas prison boss, was quoted stating that the murder charges against the guards show "we will not tolerate unnecessary force" against prisoners.

Six prisoners face charges resulting from the initial melee. Prison officials stated that additional charges were expected against as many as a dozen other guards at the prison arising out of McCoy's death and the beatings of other prisoners.

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