Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

News in Brief

AL : On October 3, 1997, a fight between two unidentified prisoners at the Holman prison in Atmore escalated into a brawl involving 18 prisoners that left two seriously injured and five slightly injured. Prison spokesman Tom Gilkson said the fight began as a dispute over money paid to a lawyer.

Canada : In October, 1997, Ontario judge Bruce Hawkins declined to extradite Canadians Harry Cobb, Allen Grossman and James Tsioubris to face federal U.S. charges of swindling 1,000 people out of $35 million in a telemarketing scam. The ruling came after Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod told a Canadian TV interviewer that those who resisted extradition "would face a long, hard, prison term as the boyfriend of a very bad man." Judge Hawkins said "No right thinking Canadian would endorse the use of homosexual rape as a means of persuading Canadian residents to abandon their rights to a full extradition hearing."

China : In October, 1997, the Chinese government announced it was considering making lethal injection the official means of execution, instead of shooting. Lethal injection was ratified as a means of execution on January 1, 1997. Between March and October, 1997, 22 prisoners were executed by lethal injection at the Kunming Court Hospital, carrying out sentences imposed by the Kunming Intermediate People's Court in Yunnan province.

FL : In October, 1997, Karen Spaziano was arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle 40 grams of marijuana to her husband, Thomas Spaziano, a prisoner at the Martin Correctional Institution. The Spezianos had married the week before the arrest. Prison officials claimed to have learned of the plan through the routine monitoring and taping of prison phone calls.

NJ : On October 11, 1997, Mercer County (Trenton) Detention Center guard Freddie Feliciano was arrested by FBI agents on charges of robbing 17 banks with fake bombs. Feliciano was held without bail pending trial. The robberies took place in DE, PA, VA, MD and NJ.

TX : On July 29, 1997, Jimmy Billingsley, a former guard at the Tarrant County Community Corrections Facility, was charged with sexually assaulting one female prisoner and exposing himself to another. The facility is operated by Correctional Services Corporation, a private company. After being charged, Billingsley fled the area and arrest warrants were issued.

TX : On September 26, 1997, a federal grand jury indicted federal prison guard Darren Humphries on charges of aggravated sexual assault. Humphries, a Bureau of Prisons guard at the FCI in Big Spring, is accused of raping a male prisoner on March 2, 1997, in one of the prison's dormitory units. Humphries, free on bond, is also on paid leave pending trial.

WA : On October 24, 1997, King county (Seattle) jail guard Jeffrey Jones was arrested by FBI agents on charges of soliciting an assault on a witness; trafficking and possessing stolen property and conspiring to violate federal firearms laws. Jones was out on bail awaiting trial on charges of smuggling drugs into the jail and selling criminal history information to undercover FBI agents.

WV : On October 9, 1997, state judge Joseph Troisi was indicted on federal civil rights charges for biting the nose of a defendant who cursed at him in court. Troisi's lawyer, Harry Deitzler, said, "I hope this doesn't ruin his career."

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login