Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

One Idaho Detainee Kills Another in Jail Fight Over Tablet Use

by Jo Ellen Nott

On November 28, 2022, a man who fatally beat a fellow detainee at Idaho’s Madison County Jail was sentenced for the murder. Robert Pompa, 27, will spend at least 27 years in prison for killing 62-year-old Eddie Blaine Stacey in a fight over an electronic tablet used to communicate with family and friends on October 8, 2021.

At the time, Pompa was jailed on charges of drug trafficking and unlawful firearm possession. But he also had a violent history in eastern Idaho jails. In 2020 he attacked two sexual offenders and left them bloodied and battered on the floor, one of them an elderly man. Eddie Stacey was not a sexual offender, however; he was serving a 90-day sentence on a misdemeanor alcohol charge when he died.

His murder was partially captured on jail security cameras. In that footage Pompa is seen striking Stacey 16 times with his fist before the older man fell to the floor. Stacey lay there in a pool of blood for five minutes until he died.  No one present offered to help, though Pompa received praise from some other detainees as he walked away. 

Under his sentence, Pompa could remain in prison for life, after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Stacey’s fatal beat-down and felony assault for attacking a jail guard administering medication to him two days later.

Madison County prosecutor Rob Wood noted that “Pompa’s criminal history is lengthy and involves multiple theft, burglaries, injuries to property, drug crimes and violent crimes.” Yet he also raised the question about what to do with someone whose criminal history dates to age 14, like Pompa’s does.

Pompa’s court-appointed attorney, Trent Grant, said that his client had a difficult childhood marred by trauma, which  prevented him from becoming appropriately socializing.

Pompa also addressed the court at the sentencing, blaming his behavior on the tablet, which he called “our way of communicating with family and friends.”

“It’s our lifeline,” he declared, adding with no apparent sense of irony, “that’s how we stay sane.”  

Source:  East Idaho News

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login