Guard and 17 Incarcerees Indicted for Violent Robberies at Texas Youth Lockup
On October 9, 2019, one guard and 17 juveniles were indicted in connection with multiple violent robberies of juveniles incarcerated at the McLennan County State Juvenile Facility in Mart, Texas, just east of Waco.
The grand jury handed down 18 indictments, including nine charging incarcerated juveniles with engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony; and three with assault on a public servant. The remaining six indictments are sealed because the defendants had not been arrested at the time they were handed down. One of the sealed indictments charges an employee with official oppression. Others allege sexual harassment of a public servant and attempted sexual assault.
Some of the organized crime charges stem from a June 29, 2019, incident during which juveniles were left alone and unsupervised in a day room and the defendants allegedly assaulted and robbed another juvenile. Others stem from the alleged assault and robbery of another juvenile on June 11, 2019.
The cases were presented to the grand jury by Cindy Garner of the Texas Special Prosecution Unit, an independent agency for prosecuting crimes occurring in correctional facilities that is funded by a grant from the governor's office.
The employee is charged with allowing the June 29th incident to occur, according to Texas Juvenile Justice Department spokesman Brian Sweany. Those indicted for organized criminal activity include Devin Hardwick, Reginald Stewart, Carlos Tejada, and Circolby M. Lancelin, Cedrick Bernard Williams, and Roncarlos Jamal Rachal. Rachal and Williams were indicted twice for allegedly participating in both incidents. Zachary William Sessions, Jordan Wright, and Alejandro Garcia were indicted for third-degree assault on a public servant.
Sources: wacotribune.com; houstonchronicle.com, texasmonitor.org
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