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Guard Gets 10 Years for Beating Prisoner to Death

On May 23, 1995, Joel Lambright was sentenced to a 2 to 10 year sentence after being convicted of manslaughter for beating and kicking to death Michael McCoy, a prisoner. [See PLN Jan., 1995] Initially charged with murder, Lambright was convicted of manslaughter after the jury heard testimony that he and guard Alex Torres had entered McCoy's cell after a prison disturbance in October, 1994, and beat and kicked him into semi-consciousness. McCoy died of brain injuries the next day in a hospital. The prosecution argued that McCoy probably would have survived had he received prompt medical attention. Torres faces trial later this year on the charge of murdering McCoy. Lambright has made state history: he is the first guard ever convicted of murdering a prisoner in Texas history. His law enforcement career has come full circle: from prison guard to prisoner.

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