News in Brief:
Arizona: On September 8, 2005, Maricopa county police shot and killed probationer Darnell Clement, 26, when he showed up at a probation office in Scottsdale where he had been told to report to have his probation revoked. Clement was on probation for beating his wife and was having his probation revoked for a similar domestic violence incident.
Arkansas: On October 7, 2005, Glen Andis, 30, a prisoner at the Cummins Unit in Varner fell into a corn filled silo and suffocated. Andis had been repairing a hole in the side of the bin when he fell into the corn and could not get out.
California: On September 22, 2005, over 200 prisoners at the Reception Center-East facility in Chino rioted in a cell block and smashed windows, destroyed cell doors, light fixtures and toilets in their cells. Guards abandoned the unit during the uprising. Guards eventually subdued the prisoners using tear gas and pepper spray, eight prisoners were hospitalized afterwards. Several dozen of the rebellious prisoners were then shipped to the Kern Valley State Prison in Delano where 19 began an uprising in a holding cell. The unit in Chino required a week of repair. Media reports gave no reason for the rebellion.
Colorado: In early September, 2005, Solomon Mikael, 34, a guard at the Denver jail, was arrested and charged with three counts of bribery and three counts of selling contraband. Prosecutors allege Mikael sold marijuana and cigarettes to jail prisoners.
Florida: On September 28, 2005, Sarasota county jail prisoner George Dupree was pat searched before entering county judge Judith Goldman's courtroom and a sheriff's deputy discovered a .38 caliber snub nosed revolver loaded with hollow point bullets concealed in his underwear. Police were investigating to determine how Dupree got the gun and how it was missed when he was pat searched upon leaving the jail for court. Dupree has been charged with assorted felonies related to the gun incident. He had originally been arrested on outstanding warrants from another county for resisting arrest and heroin possession.
Florida: On September 30, 2005, Hernando county jail guard Nathaniel Pullings, 33, was fired after he entered a female housing unit in the jail and ordered the prisoners to strip naked. Pullings was working in the jail laundry when he entered the women's unit and announced You bitches strip and wrap a towel around you." Ostensibly so he could wash their laundry. The comment was heard by the husband of a prisoner who was speaking on the phone at the time. Corrections Corporation of America runs the jail.
Georgia: After 30 years on death row, Jack Potts, succumbed to liver cancer and died on September 2, 2005. Potts was convicted of murder in 1975 and sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing an auto mechanic. He was retried on the charges in 1988 and again sentenced to death.
Hawaii: On October 3, 2005, three prisoners escaped from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center by removing a screen and louver from a restroom window and climbing down 30 feet of bed sheets.
Illinois: On September 9, 2005, the Jacksonville Correctional Facility was locked down for four days after an unnamed assistant warden at the prison lost his set of master keys to the cells and prison wings of the facility.
Indiana: On September 6, 2005, James Pridmore, 36, and Delbert Tompkins, 30, escaped from the Porter county jail in Valparaiso by climbing into the ceiling of their jail cell and leaving through the roof. It was the first escape since the jail opened three years ago. Sheriff Dave Reynolds said the escape was the result of an architectural flaw." What they did wasn't supposed to happen," Reynolds said. Both men were recaptured a few hours later and have been charged with escape.
Japan: The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has asked the Justice Ministry to investigate the deaths of seven mentally ill prisoners who died after being placed in solitary confinement between 1999 and 2003 and being denied medical treatment.
Kansas: On October 7, 2005, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered the removal of Saline county district judge George Robertson, 56, for viewing adult web sites on his courthouse computer. Robertson had been a judge for ten years.
Massachusetts: On October 5, 2005, Suffolk county jail guard Paul Davis, 38, was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to bringing heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Oxycontin into the jail to sell to prisoners.
New York: In October, 2005, the New York court of appeals, 2nd Department, suspended Queens prosecutor Claude Stuart for three years after he lied to the trial judge in the 2002 murder trial of Tyrone Johnson by claiming he did not know the whereabouts of a witness whose testimony contradicted the story of a key prosecution witness to the alleged murder. This appears to be the first time in memory that a New York prosecutor has been suspended or disbarred for lying or other misconduct carried out in the course of their duties. Stuart now works, or worked, at the law firm of Brand, Glick and Brand in Garden City, NY. Johnson was granted a new trial, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
New York: On August 30, 2005, Nassau District judge David Gross, 43, was arrested by FBI agents after telling undercover police, on tape, that he would gladly launder money and sell their stolen diamonds. Which he apparently did. 14 others were also arrested on charges related to illegal gambling operations allegedly run by the Genovese crime family. Gross has been a judge since 1999 and was suspended when the arrest was announced.
New York: On October 2, 2005, Kimberly Dwyer, 16, was arrested by state police on charges she was smuggling heroin into the Gouverneur Correctional Facility.
New York: On September 15, 2005, criminal defense attorney Dawn Florio, 42, was arrested by guards at the 100 Centre Street jail in Manhattan after they saw her attempt to give her client, Jose Marrero, an accordion folder containing 300 assorted unidentified pills, a turkey sandwich, two sticks of deodorant, three bars of soap, cigarette rolling papers and a copy of the magazine Felon. She was arraigned and allowed to continue practicing law and representing clients, including Marrero, while her case is pending. She is charged with two counts of promoting prison contraband. While a district attorney in the Bronx, Florio was fired when she provided a fake alibi for a boyfriend being investigated on burglary charges. Marrero is awaiting trial on drug charges.
North Carolina: On September 16, 2005, Dennis Toole, a guard at the Johnston county jail was arrested after he sold an ounce of marijuana to an undercover police officer. Police claimed Toole was going to sell drugs to jail prisoners which seems a leap given he was selling drugs to police.
North Carolina: The Department of Corrections announced that on January 1, 2006, it would ban indoor smoking in all of its facilities by staff and prisoners alike.
Ohio: On September 1, 2005, Jamey Vincent, 29, a guard at the Lebanon Correctional Facility was arrested on charges he was smuggling marijuana into the prison to sell to prisoners.
Ohio: On September 8, 2005, jail prisoner Shawn Booker, 24, hanged himself in the Warren county jail. On September 11, 2005, Larry Spurlock, 35, hanged himself as well.
Oklahoma: On September 6, 2005, Juston Cox and his brother Jayson escaped from the McIntosh County jail by chiseling through the jail's ceiling and leaving through an air vent. Jayson was recaptured 20 minutes after the escape, Juston was captured on September 22, 2005, after crashing a stolen pick up truck near a golf course.
Pennsylvania: On October 4, 2005, Allegheny county prosecutors dropped criminal solicitation charges against Jason Korey, 23, Keilan Walls, 29, and Shawn Davis when Rayco Saunders, the man the three defendants were accused of conspiring to kill, showed up at the courthouse wearing a t shirt that said Stop Snitching." Saunders had refused to cooperate with police during their investigation. The murder plot stemmed from a fight over a girlfriend. Korey is already serving a 33 year sentence for murder. District attorney spokesman Mike Manko stated: As part of our community outreach efforts, this office frequently lets both adults and young people alike know that the Stop Snitching' message is counter productive to the work that law enforcement on all levels does each and every day." How true.
Pennsylvania: On September 22, 2005, Bonita Kirby, a guard at the Lebanon County jail, was sentenced to five years probation for allowing jail prisoner Tina Proudfoot Myerhoffer escape while Kirby was transporting her back to the jail in a van. Myerhoffer claimed Kirby gave her the van keys after she told Kirby she was concerned about her health and wanted to see her husband. Myerhoffer was recaptured two days later.
Pennsylvania: On September 23, 2005, James Brown, 49, was sentenced to 12 to 36 months in state prison for possessing a cell phone in the Northampton county jail. Brown had pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a telecommunications device by an inmate.
Pennsylvania: On September 26, 2005, Thomas Gildard, 43, was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct when he refused to leave a bar in Jeannette and harassed patrons. Gildard, a Westmoreland county jail guard, had called in sick to work at the time he was at the bar drinking. Jail warden John Walton ordered Gildard to reimburse the county for the day of sick leave and took two days of pay form him.
Pennsylvania: On September 28, 2005, Jose Orejuela and Jorge Figueroa, prisoners at the Federal Correctional Center in Allenwood were arrested along with 20 other people and charged with conspiring to import cocaine into the United States. Both men are already serving sentenced related to drug importation. They are accused of supervising a drug smuggling operation that brought cocaine into the US via ports from their prison cells.
Sri Lanka: On October 4, 2005, guerrillas from the Tamil Tigers of Tamil Elam ambushed a prison van, wounding one guard and allowing four prisoners to escape. The Tamil Tigers seek an independent nation for the Tamil minority.
Tanzania: On September 21, 2005, nine Ukonga prison guards were charged in the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court with beating two journalists who had been detained.
Tennessee: On August 25, 2005, Joseph Krist, 34, a prisoner in the Wilson county jail locked himself in a cell with 8 female prisoners for 11 hours while getting cleaning supplies. Chief deputy Johnie Deagen said Everyone says nothing happened, they only talked.
Texas: On September 7, 2005, protestors gathered outside the home of attorney Ron Mock to confront him over the botched defense of death row prisoner Frances Newton, who was executed later that day. Mock has the unique distinction of having represented the largest number of defendants convicted and executed in the United States. The state bar of Texas has suspended Mock from practicing law for 35 months for disciplinary issues in a different case.
Venezuela: The nation continues with it's unenviable record of the deadliest prisons in the Americas. As of October 4, 2005, 314 prisoners had been murdered in the nation's 32 prisons which hold 20,000 prisons and 517 had been seriously injured. In 2004 327 prisoners were killed and 655 seriously injured.
Vermont: On September 7, 2005, Windham County court clerk Christine Murray, 37, was charged with fraudulently converting court funds by stealing $17,925 from the court's bail fund over a two year period. The theft was discovered when two defendants sought the return of their bail money on a day that Murray was not at work and co-workers could find no record of the defendant's bail. When confronted by a supervisor Murray confessed.
Virginia: Seeking to conserve water, officials at the Wallens Ridge State Prison, a 1,200 bed maximum security prison, have limited prisoners to three showers a week, four toilet flushes per day and is providing prisoners with bottled drinking water. The restrictions were imposed when the town of Big Stone Gap declared a water emergency and prohibited all non essential water use such as car washing and lawn watering due to low water levels in Big Cherry lake, the water supply for the town and prison. Human Rights Watch has complained to Virginia prison officials that the conservation efforts endanger prisoners' health and exposes them to the risk of dehydration. The prison responded it was ordered by the town to reduce water use by 50 percent.
Wisconsin: On October 3, 2005, Lucas Gardner, 20, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide after he provided Anthony Ray, 27, with heroin and cocaine which Ray ingested and overdosed on. Both men were prisoners in Rock County jail. Frank Perez, 20, another prisoner who pleaded guilty to smuggling the drugs Ray overdosed on was sentenced to six years in prison. Gardner and Perez were on work release where Perez obtained the drugs which Gardner brought into the jail concealed in his rectum.