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$250,000 in Hawaii Beating Death

In May 2001, the Hawaii prison system paid $250,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from a prisoner being beaten to death by prison guards. In 1999 Antonio Revera, 26, was serving a 10 year sentence for rape in the Halawa Correctional Facility. While being transferred out of the prison's medical unit in handcuffs and shackles, Revera allegedly bit a guard.

Prison guards then proceeded to beat Revera and placed him, unattended, in a cell. The next morning, Revera was found dead in the cell. An autopsy determined he died of head injuries inflicted by guard Brian Freitas, 33. Freitas was indicted on manslaughter charges and currently awaits trial.

Revera's family filed suit and the Hawaii attorney general's office agreed to pay the estate $250,000 to settle the lawsuit. Senior Deputy Attorney General Charles Fell said: "We felt that a fair argument could be made that one or more of the [guards] should have intervened quicker to protect inmate Revera. Unfortunately, they didn't."

Defending the settlement, Fell told media: "Basically when you represent the state in a case like this, you try to minimize the exposure to the state if you can do so by settlement. We felt badly about what happened... I'm happy we could resolve it fairly."

Source: Honolulu Advertiser.

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