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California Guard Wins $10 Million Default Judgment Against Assaultive Prisoners

A guard at California State Prison Los Angeles (CSP-LA) in Lancaster, who was allegedly injured by two prisoners, was awarded a $10,253,792.57 default judgment against them in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 17, 2005.

Guard Demont Blunt, 25, was repeatedly kicked in the head on April 2, 2004 when he was attacked by two prisoners, allegedly Gregory Haines and Harold Wesley. However, prosecutors declined to file charges against Haines and Wesley because of insufficient evidence to prove that they were the actual perpetrators. Nonetheless, they remain in solitary confinement at other prisons where they were transferred.

While candidly admitting that Blunt never expects to collect any of the judgment, CSP-LA spokesman Lt. Charles Hughes said, It's not about the money, it's all about the accountability. These two inmates will never have anything in their lives that doesn't have Officer Blunt's name on it." Blunt is allegedly paralyzed on one side and seeks a medical retirement.

Hughes started the California Staff Assault Task Force (CSA TF) 1 1/2 years ago to sue prisoners. (See: PLN, Aug. 2004, p.24.) The group reportedly now has 5,800 members who pay $10/month dues. CSATF hired Lancaster attorney R. Rex Parris to represent Blunt. CSATF claims to have won 60 small claims lawsuits against California state prisoners who injured prison staff.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News.

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