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News in Brief

News in Brief:

Arizona: On March 22, 2006, David Leyva, 24, a guard at the Pima county jail was arrested on charges that he conspired to possess an unidentified narcotic drug.

Arkansas: On March 21, 2006, a brawl involving 12 prisoners that started over a bag of stolen instant coffee was quelled by guards using pepper spray. Three prisoners were injured in the fight. Prisoner Charmorro Williams is expected to lose an eye after being struck in the eye with a lock in a sock, another prisoner suffered a broken jaw. Some three dozen prisoners were moved to other prisons afterwards.

Brazil: On March 23, 2006, prisoners at the Jundai jail rioted and seized control of the prison, which was designed to hold 120 but was holding 470 at the time of the riot. At least seven prisoners died of smoke inhalation from fires started by the prisoners to protest the transfer of prisoners to other jails.

Colorado: On March 22, 2006, a jury found state prisoner Clair Lloyd Beazer, 42, guilty of third degree assault, a misdemeanor, for gouging out the eye of fellow prisoner William Means, 41. Prosecutors had charged Beazer with second degree assault, a felony. No reason was given for the attack.

Colorado: On March 25, 2006, Juan Carpio and Manual Luna, both 24, escaped from the segregation unit on the fourth floor of the Pueblo county jail by dismantling a window frame and climbing down bed sheets. While climbing out of their cell their 55 foot rope broke and the men fell about 35 feet, hitting a security fence. Carpio was injured in the fall and recaptured about an hour later, Luna got away. Carpio was awaiting trial on kidnapping and burglary charges and extradition to Missouri on murder charges. Luna was awaiting trial on armed robbery charges. This was the first successful jail escape since 1980. The jail is badly overcrowded, designed to hold 183 prisoners, it held 508 at the time of the escape. A third prisoner in their cell decided to stay behind and was being investigated as an accessory to escape.

Colorado: On March 27, 2006, David Frisco, 48, a Larimer county bail bondsman who operated bail bond businesses Colorado Bail Bonds, Golden West Bail Bonds and Acoma Ten Percent Bail Bonds was sentenced to 12 years in state prison for demanding sex, stolen property and drugs from people accused of crimes in exchange for posting their bond. Frisco also video recorded his sexual encounters with the extortion victims, without their knowledge. In addition to possessing copious amounts of stolen property, drug and bomb manufacturing ingredients, Frisco was not licensed as a bail bondsman.

Florida: On February 25, 2006, a jury convicted state prisoner Dwight Tommy Eaglin, 30, of capital murder for killing prison guard Darla Lathrem, 38, and prisoner Charles Fuston, 36, with a sledgehammer while trying to escape from a prison in Punta Gorda in 2003. On March 30, 2006, circuit judge William Blackwell sentenced Eaglin to death for the murders. Eaglins co-defendants, Stephen Smith, 44, and Michael Jones, 49, are scheduled for trial later this year.

Georgia: On March 27, 2006, prisoners attempting to escape from the Ortochala prison in Tbilisi in this former Soviet republic rioted and set the prison on fire. Police stormed the prison and in the ensuing gun battle at least two guards and seven prisoners died. Elena Tevdoradze, head of the parliaments committee on human rights said I consider one of the reasons for the uprising the fact that six inmates had been beaten brutally in the prison hospital.

India: On March 24, 2006, over 80 Marxist Naxalite guerrillas stormed a jail in R Uadagiri in the province of Orissa and freed its prisoners. During the attack the guerrillas killed two policemen, police claimed to have killed three guerrillas.

Indiana: On March 22, 2006, a Steuben county judge held a bench trial brought by Mark Collier, who was convicted of the attempted murder of his ex wife, against Grace Bertoia, the wife of sex offender Timothy Bertioa, 48, who was his cellmate in the Steuben county jail while he was awaiting trial. During his jail stay Collier received a divorce settlement and at Timothys suggestion, gave Grace a power of attorney to open a bank account to deposit his $11,156.66 divorce settlement. According to his lawsuit, Grace then proceeded to systematically loot the bank account, buying household appliances for herself, paying her husbands attorney fees and otherwise pilfering the money. Judge Fee has not issued a ruling yet. Timothy was not named in the suit. He shared a cell with Collier while serving a sentence for forcing two children younger than six to perform sex acts on him, each other and a dog while they stayed with him. Police also found over 700 images of child pornography on his computer.

Iowa: On March 11, 2006, Jonathan Havener, a prisoner at the state prison in Anamosa, was awakened by prison guard Richard Warner after his hot pot caught fire while he was sleeping and filled his cell with smoke while he was sleeping. Havener thanked Warner for saving his life. Warner also infracted Havener for leaving his hot pot on too long.

Iowa: On March 21, 2006, Darrell Alderton, an HIV positive prisoner in the Johnson county jail was charged with sexually assaulting another prisoner in the jail. Alderton is awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused a 16 year old boy and exposed him to HIV.

Massachusetts: On March 21, 2006, the Plymouth county jail fired jail guards Steve Anstatt and Rick Stanphy and demoted captain Chris Hughes and suspended him without work pay for 40 days and suspended guard David Rose. The discipline occurred for the guards allowing prisoners working in the jails print and embroidery shop to tattoo themselves.

Michigan: On march 21, 2006, Jodi Axley and Kathy Sleep, prison employees who had already been charged with helping a prisoner escape from the Baraga Maximum Security Facility in August, 2006, were charged with a felony count of sexual assault for allegedly having sex with the same prisoner.

Michigan: On March 28, 2006, former US assistant attorney Richard Convertino, 45, and state Department regional security officer Harry Smith III, 49, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false declarations. The charges stem from the duos botched terrorism prosecution of North African immigrants on charges they formed a terrorist cell. Two of the immigrants were convicted and later had their convictions reversed when it was discovered that Convertino had concealed evidence that would have aided their defense. In a second case Convertino is accused of giving a judge false information in order to reduce a defendants sentence.

Michigan: On March 30, 2006, Jody Evans, 32, a guard at the Otsego county jail in Gaylord was suspended for three days without pay for spreading toothpaste on the stomach of a sleeping prisoner. In 2002 she and another female guard had been disciplined for applying womens make up to male prisoners. She had previously been disciplined for another incident, which was expunged from her record per her union contract, that resulted in a lawsuit settlement of $1,500 to a prisoner. It sounds like Ms. Evans might be in the wrong line of work.

Mississippi: On March 30, 2006, Tomeka Brown, 26, a former guard at the Geo Corp. run East Mississippi Correctional Facility was sentenced to a three year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to helping prisoners Gregory Malone, 26, and Christopher Roy, 24, escape from the prison. Brown admitted driving the two men to Tuscaloosa and paying for their motel room. Both men, who had been serving sentences for murder, were recaptured shortly afterwards.

Nevada: On March 21, 2006, an administrative hearing officer upheld the firing of prison guard Bruce Jackson for punching Associate Warden of Operations Isidro Baca on July 18, 2005, while working at the High Desert State Prison. Baca claimed Jackson punched him on the face and left side when he ordered him to write a report about the mistaken release of a prisoner.

New York: A series of three fights on March 25 and 26th, 2006, at the Elmira Correctional Facility led to a prison wide lockdown. Groups of 4 to 8 prisoners were involved in each incident. No reason was given for the disputes.

New York: On March 29, 2006, 24 former prisoners who had applied for jobs at Kennedy and La Guardia airports were arrested for allegedly lying on job application forms that asked them if they had been convicted of a criminal offense.

Ohio: On March 29, 2006, Greg Kopp, 40, a former guard at the Garfield Heights jail pleaded no contest to sexually harassing a female prisoner in the jail and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and one year of probation. Kopp admitted to asking the prisoner obscene questions and making vulgar remarks while he watched her shower.

Pennsylvania: On March 29, 2005 a jury found Wackenhut Corrections Corporation employee Sandra Denise Belt guilty of numerous crimes in relation to her theft of more than $26,000 in prisoner funds between January and May 2001. Belt was employed at the Delaware county prison. Although the money involved funds taken from inmates accounts, the prisoners were reimbursed as they were released and so were not victims, said Detective Sgt. Joseph Ryan. The inmates never lost money,... It was the prison that lost money, testified Ryan. On April 14, 2005, Belt was sentenced to 11 ½ to 23 months in jail for the theft.

Pennsylvania: On March 29, 2006, an unidentified guard at the Northeast Prison Complex in Philadelphia lost his loaded .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver while transporting a group of 10 prisoners to the jail. The guard was suspended for 20 days pending an inquiry. Jail officials claim to have no idea where the gun is but dont believe it is in the jail.

South Dakota: On March 21, 2006, Tara McBride, 23, a prisoner, pleaded guilty to distributing methamphetamine to fellow prisoner Heather Steele, 25. McBride was sentenced to an additional 8 years in prison, Steele, who had also pleaded guilty was sentenced to three additional years in prison.
Tennessee: In a move ostensibly aimed at halting the concealment of contraband, Department of Corrections officials banned the sale of peanut butter on prison commissaries claiming that prisoners were using the 18 ounces jars to conceal guns, drugs and cell phones in them. The DOC announced it would return the 4,600 jars of peanut butter it had on hand to a vendor and replace them with one ounce packets of peanut butter.
Texas: On March 28, 2006, Sylvia Rivas, a nurse at the Cameron county jail, was arrested on charges she stole medications intended for prisoners, including narcotics, anti anxiety pills and more.

Texas: On March 30, 2006, Louisiana Correctional Services, a private, for profit, prison company, sued the San Antonio Express and Hearst Newspapers claiming it had been libeled when the newspapers described corruption and mismanagement at the LCS run Bexar county jail. Jonathan Donnellan, the papers senior attorney responded: The paper was simply fulfilling its role as the eyes and ears of the public, and based its reporting on public records, public meetings and officials statements.

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