News in Brief
Alabama: On November 2, 2022, a former state prison guard at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility near Birmingham pleaded guilty to federal contraband smuggling charges. The Birmingham News reported that Wilson Brian Clemons, 32, was arrested on November 23, 2021, on state counts of marijuana possession and promoting prison contraband, as well as use of his position for personal gain. While those counts were pending, Clemons was indicted on federal counts of conspiracy and using a facility in interstate commerce in furtherance of an unlawful activity. Clemons’ plea admits he abused his position to smuggle contraband to prisoners in exchange for bribes paid to his Cash App account – under aliases like “Mario Lopez” and “My Grandaddy Otis” — between November 7 and November 23, 2021. He was caught when guards at a checkpoint outside the prison watched him pull off the road and stop briefly before entering. K-9 dogs then alerted to the presence of drugs in his car, and a search of the spot where he had stopped turned up bags containing cellphones, marijuana, and Xanax. He agreed to give up the money he made from the scheme and could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. See: USA v. Clemons, USDC (N.D.Ala.), Case No. 2:22-cr-00402.
Alabama: WVTM in Birmingham reported a state prison guard and a former guard were arrested on corruption charges on November 28, 2022. Childersburg Community Work Center Cpt. Deaundra Johnson and former Lt. Centauria Olds, were each charged with four counts of using their official positions for personal gain and bribery. Olds was arrested on similar charges in 2021, which were sent to a grand jury, though it was unclear if those were the same charges underlying her most recent arrest. Johnson is on mandatory leave from the state Department of Corrections (DOC) pending an investigation that has so far included execution of a search warrant on the Birmingham home the two share.
Arizona: A retired state prison guard suspended his run for the Maricopa Community College District Governing Board on October 20, 2022, after he was caught masturbating in public in broad daylight near a preschool where children were playing. The Arizona Republic reported that Randy Gene Kaufman, a GOP candidate for a seat on the Board who retired after 27 years with the state DOC, was approached by a Maricopa County Community Colleges police officer on the afternoon of October 4, 2022, on the campus of a lifelong learning center in Surprise. The cop found Kaufman with his pants at mid-thigh, exposing his erection and “manipulating his genitals in a masturbatory manor [sic]” while watching something on his cellphone. Kaufman dropped the name of the officer’s boss before he finally admitted: “I fucked up. I’m really stressed.” In previous social media campaign posts, he said that he was running to protect children from “the progressive left.” Those posts were deleted after he was cited for public sexual indecency.
Australia: ABC News reported that a former Sydney prison guard was sentenced on October 14, 2022, for sexually assaulting three female prisoners at Dillwynia Correctional Centre at Windsor. Wayne Gregory Astill, 66, was found guilty earlier in 2022 of misconduct and aggravated sexual and indecent assault. During sentencing, an impact statement was read from one victim, who described feeling disgusting and dishonorable for what he had done to her, leaving her to suffer an eating disorder and nightmares. Another victim explained how she was groomed by Astill, who used his access to her personal information to earn her trust. She accused him of treating the sexual misconduct as a game, saying he would soon feel the vulnerability that she had, once he got to prison. The third victim said she was reticent to discuss what had happened to her for fear of disbelief and victim-blaming, since she was ignored when she first spoke out.
California: Two state prison guards in Sacramento were arrested within days of each other in November 2022, both charged with sex crimes with children. KRON in San Francisco reported that Matthew James Leavens, 36, was arrested on November 21, 2022, on six counts of child sex, including rape. He then resigned from California State Prison at Sacramento. His arrest came just three days after Matthew Robert Solem, 43, was taken into custody on November 18, 2022. Solem was placed on leave from Folsom State Prison, where he has worked since 2007. He faces one count of sex with a child under 14 and 13 counts of sex with a child aged 14 or 15.
Colorado: The Pueblo Chieftain reported that a former state prison guard in Cañon City avoided a prison sentence on November 1, 2022, despite smuggling contraband into the medium-security lockup where he worked. Kyle Gotham Tatro, 33, was charged with introducing contraband, after tipped-off prison officials caught him attempting to smuggle plastic pens full of Oxycodone and methamphetamine into Fremont Correctional Facility on June 25, 2021. [See: PLN, May 1, 2022, online.] He had already taken $340 in bribes for an earlier delivery and was expecting another $250 that day, allegedly using the money to fund a vacation and buy a remote-controlled car. Tatro also resigned from the state DOC, where he had worked since 2019. He was sentenced to just 100 hours of community service and two years of probation for his crimes.
Florida: On October 21, 2022, a nurse employed at Miami Federal Detention Center appeared in criminal court for the first time, accused of smuggling contraband and taking bribes. WPEC in West Palm Beach reported that Ruben Montanez-Mirabal, 32, is accused of smuggling drugs into the federal prison in exchange for money and other things of value, like taking a drive in a Rolls-Royce and a Lamborghini. He allegedly received thousands of dollars for smuggling legal documents soaked in liquid drugs and dried for delivery to a prisoner, who distributed them inside. Montanez-Mirabal had worked at the prison since February 2020. His charges — possession with intent to distribute, providing contraband, and bribery — carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison.
Florida: WINK in Fort Myers reported on October 27, 2022, that a state prison guard at Charlotte Correctional Institution was arrested and charged with smuggling contraband and taking bribes. Matthew Cross, 34, is accused of scheming with a prisoner who allegedly made payments to Cross’ Venmo account marked for “fantasy football,” “hygiene products,” and “food.” In total, investigators found seven payments adding up to $835. Cross was charged with one count of “introducing food or clothing into a state correctional institution” and seven counts of “unlawful compensation for official behavior.” He was released on $25,000 bond.
Florida: On November 4, 2022, a former guard at the Leon County Jail was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, WTXL in Tallahassee reported. James Linton, 60, was fired from the county Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) on February 28, 2022, after police in Dekalb County, Georgia, accused him of soliciting minors on the internet. LCSO conducted a joint investigation with Dekalb police, uncovering evidence that Linton purchased and possessed “child sexual abuse material” (CSAM), even sending some to an individual he thought was 14 years old. Linton was charged with one count of using a computer to seduce, solicit and/or lure a child; one count of distributing CSAM; and 20 counts of aggravated possession of CSAM.
Florida: On November 5, 2022, the family of former Bay Correctional Facility prisoner Michael Toler Sr., 60, laid him to rest, after he was killed in the state prison two weeks before. WMBB in Panama City reported that Toler’s family heard no details about the death from the state DOC nor the company that operates the jail, Utah-based Management & Training Corp. (MTC). But another detainee told them Toler had been stabbed. When MTC officials then spoke with the family, it was only to ask how they learned the news, the family said. Toler was convicted in 2019 of stealing lawn tools worth $3,000. He was slated for release in 2024.
Georgia: The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia announced on November 15, 2022, that two former CoreCivic guards at a state prison in Coffee County were sentenced in a massive methamphetamine distribution scheme. Before their January 2021 indictment, Idalis Qua Dazia Harrell, 26, and Jessica Azaelae Burnett, 43 — also known as “The Madam” — worked at the Coffee County Correctional Facility, which is operated by the private prison giant for the state DOC. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute. [See: PLN, Sep. 2021, p.62.] Each was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. A third co-conspirator from outside the lockup, Alexander Reyes Tyson, 45, was also sentenced for his part in the scheme. The three are among 48 individuals connected to the conspiracy after officials launched “Operation Sandy Bottom” in 2018; only one remains to be sentenced. See: USA v. McMillan, USDC (S.D.Ga.), Case No. 5:20-cr-00007.
Hawaii: On November 16, 2022, a former prison guard in Hilo was sentenced for assaulting a state prisoner, the Associated Press reported. In 2015, the former guard, Jonathan Taum, 50, attacked prisoner Chawn Kaili, forcing him to the ground before kicking and punching him, breaking his nose, orbital socket, and jaw. Taum then led a years-long cover-up of the assault. He was not alone, however; three other guards were also fired from the state Department of Public Safety in 2016 for their role in the incident. One of the other former guards, Jordan DeMattos, pleaded guilty and testified against the others at their trial. Following that, Taum and the other two — Jason Tagaloa, 31, Craig Pinkney, 38 — were convicted. [See: PLN, Aug. 18, 2022, online.] Taum received the longest prison term: three concurrent sentences totaling 12 years.
Iowa: On November 8, 2022, a former guard at the Webster County Jail got a suspended sentence after pleading guilty two months earlier to sexually assaulting one detainee and helping another escape custody. The Messenger reported that Michelle Renee Valenti, 31, admitted to assisting Jordan Mefferd escape on December 11, 2021. [See: PLN, Feb. 2022, p.62.] She pleaded guilty in September 2022 to that crime and to “multiple sex acts” with a second unnamed detainee. For all that, the judge then suspended her ten-year prison sentence. She must still register as a sex offender and serve five years on probation.
Kentucky: The stepfather of murdered rap star Tupac Shakur was granted compassionate release from the Federal Medical Center near Lexington on December 16, 2022, WDRB in Louisville reported. Mutulu Shakur, 72, who is suffering from cancer, has six months to live. The former Black Liberation Army member spent 36 years in prison for plotting a 1981 armored truck robbery, during which two police officers and a truck guard were killed. Shakur was not the trigger man, but he was convicted in 1987, after years on the run and on the FBI’s top-ten most-wanted list. He remains on GPS monitoring and can have no contact with his sister, exile Assata Shakur [See: PLN, June 2022, p.11], nor with the “The Family” mob, for whom he planned a series of northeastern U.S. bank robberies. He was previously denied parole nine times.
Louisiana: A jail guard in Ascension Parish was arrested and fired on November 7, 2022, for allegedly smuggling contraband into the parish jail. WBRZ in Baton Rouge said that Adam Sylve, Jr. was canned by Sheriff Bobby Webre after admitting in an interview to “sneaking things in” to the jail, where the guard had worked just four months. He faces four counts of contraband introduction and one of malfeasance in public office.
Michigan: On October 18, 2022, the Michigan DOC placed the warden of Macomb Correctional Facility (MCF) on “stop order,” barring him from the premises pending an internal investigation after a prisoner attacked two other prisoners, one of whom died. The Detroit News reported that after Warden George Stephenson was walked off the job, his duties were assumed by former MCF Warden Willis Chapman, who is now DOC Assistant Deputy Director of Operations. Earlier that same day, a prisoner in the residential treatment program stabbed another prisoner several times in the back, arm, and face. The victim was treated at a hospital and released. When officials then searched the attacker’s cell, they found his cellmate suffering “severe injuries” that proved fatal. The attacker and the surviving victim were not named, but the mortally wounded prisoner, Ruben Martinez, 28, died the next day. His was the third homicide in 2022 at MCF. On May 30, 2022, Martell Smith, 26, was found murdered. His family says he and another prisoner were fighting when Smith was stabbed in the neck with a shank. The other victim was Christopher Neely, 33, who was also fatally stabbed by another prisoner on September 18, 2022.
Missouri: On October 25, 2022, a guard at the St. Louis County Justice Center (SLJC) was charged with shattering a window at the building to help her son and another teen escape custody of county juvenile authorities. As a result, Michelle Royal, 39, now faces two felony counts of hindering the prosecution of a felony, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The two unnamed boys, both 17, escaped on May 29, 2022. Royal allegedly gave her son a cellphone for the escape, sent money through an app to another relative accompanying the escaped young men, and her cellphone put her in the same location in SLJC with them on the day of the jailbreak. The morning after the escape, one of the juvenile suspects was observed meeting someone who provided him “transportation and firearms.” That person was arrested and identified as Aaqil Z. Royal, 20, who shares an address with Michelle Royal. Detectives then seized her phone and obtained a warrant to search it, finding “numerous contacts” between Royal and her son before he and his fellow escapee were arrested and returned to custody by June 7, 2022. Aaqil Royal also faces two counts of hindering the prosecution of a felony and is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail. Michelle Royal’s bail was set at $30,000, also cash-only.
Missouri: Fox News reported that a former federal prison transport guard pleaded guilty on November 1, 2022, to sexually assaulting a detainee. The former guard, Rogeric Hankins, 37, was en route from Washington to Minnesota with a detainee wanted in St. Paul, but who had been in custody in Olympia. Hankins admitted abusing her during a fuel stop in Joplin, Missouri, on April 3, 2020, taking her inside a men’s bathroom to assault her. He faces up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. His employer, Inmate Services Corp., is being sued by a Colorado prisoner whose September 2016 transport that should have taken 13 hours instead lasted nine days. During that time, Danzel Stearns maintains that he was kept shackled in a seat with few stops to eat or use the bathroom. [See: PLN, Oct. 2020, p.54.]
New Jersey: On November 25, 2022, a former guard at Monmouth County Correctional Institution pleaded guilty to his role in a drug smuggling scheme. WKXW in Trenton reported that Bryant Mack, 54, was convicted of second-degree conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. He had worked at the jail for 17 years when detainees were found with contraband on September 4, 2021, and it was traced to him. Investigators found Mack used potato chip bags to sneak narcotics to a detainee who distributed them in the jail and paid off Mack. The guard was ordered to resign and barred from holding future public employment in New Jersey. When sentenced in April 2023, he faces up to five years in prison.
New Jersey: New Jersey Advance Media reported that a state prison guard in Jersey City was accused of taking a bribe in exchange for smuggling tobacco into Northern State Prison in Newark on October 16, 2022. Christopher Smoaks, 31, was arrested the following day, when investigators searched his uniform and uncovered bags of suspected contraband tobacco. He was charged with conspiracy and bribery. If convicted he faces up to ten years in prison.
New Jersey: On November 18, 2022, a former guard at Bayside State Prison admitted running a “fight club” with prisoners, abusing them in bare-fisted beat-downs as punishment for infractions both real and contrived. [See: PLN, May 2022, p.48.] The Daily Journal reported that the former guard, John Makos, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the prisoners’ civil rights. The matches took place from April to December 2019 in the prison kitchen, out of view of surveillance cameras. Makos both assaulted prisoners and allowed prisoners to assault one another, including one incident in which a prisoner was punched 25 times. Makos then extorted silence from his victims by holding favorable jobs over their heads. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000. See: USA v. Makos, USDC (D.N.J.), Case No. 2:21-mj-13331.
New York: The Buffalo News reported that an Erie County Jail guard was fired on May 19, 2022, a month after a grand jury indicted him for sexually abusing a detainee. Robert M. Dee, 41, was indicted on charges of forcible touching and touching the intimate parts of a detainee, plus three unrelated charges of official misconduct for utilizing government property for personal gain. He was suspended without pay in December 2021, when he was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence for choking an unnamed woman at his home. The charge was upgraded to criminal contempt and tampering with a witness the next month, when the woman was again found in his home despite a “no contact” order issued after the first incident. Dee posted $25,000 to bond out of jail on those charges. Two other allegations of sexual misconduct at the jail were investigated in 2020, sparking a separate state investigation that then-Sheriff Timothy B. Howard resolved with an agreement to improve investigations into such allegations. More charges may follow, according to current Sheriff John Garcia.
New York: On November 2, 2022, a former guard at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City was sentenced for accepting bribes to smuggle contraband into the lockup, including a weapon, cigarettes, and K2. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said the former guard, Rashawn Assanah, 26, was arrested on May 26, 2021, along with 11 other guards from the city DOC. [See: PLN, Sep. 2021, p.62.] He pleaded guilty on October 22, 2021, to conspiracy and bribery charges for smuggling contraband into the jail from November 2020 to February 2021. But after his plea, Assanah lied about having cancer in an angle for a light sentence, even submitting a forged doctor’s note to the court. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay more than $18,000.
New York: A jail guard in Oswego County was suspended on November 1, 2022, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a detainee. New York Advance Media reported that Brandon S. Stone, 37, was charged two days later with a third-degree criminal sexual act, defined as having sex with someone incapable of granting consent. Officials at the Oswego County Correctional Facility launched an investigation after receiving a complaint on October 27, 2022, discovering Stone’s dalliance with the unnamed detainee. Termination proceedings are also underway.
Ohio: WOIO in Shaker Heights reported that the first of 12 detainees accused of escaping their cells and barricading themselves within Indian River Juvenile Correctional Facility was convicted on November 29, 2022. Malik Boston, 19, confessed to escape, inducing panic, aggravated rioting and complicity to commit vandalism. The other 11, aged 15 to 17, still face charges from the uprising on October 23, 2022, during which they claimed to have weapons and posted videos online using a staff computer. In a separate incident five days earlier, a detainee got out of his cell and attacked a 60-year-old guard. David Upshaw was sent to the hospital, and Demetrice Taylor, 19, was moved to the Stark County Jail and charged with escape and felonious assault. Upshaw’s wife blamed staffing shortages for the attack.
Ohio: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that a guard at a privately run state prison in Youngstown pleaded guilty on December 14, 2022, to smuggling contraband to prisoners in exchange for bribes. Terry Terrigno, 30, was charged on November 14, 2022, with receiving tobacco, marijuana, and Suboxone at his post office box from associates of prisoners at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center. He then delivered it when he went to work at the lockup, which is run for the state DOC by private prison operator CoreCivic. In all, Terrigno admitted taking $8,650 in bribes paid through a phone app between February 2017 and July 2019.
Pennsylvania: Eight Pennsylvanians were charged with assaulting detainees in county lockups, including a pair of jail guards accused of unlocking cell doors to facilitate the attacks. On November 10, 2022, WJAC in Altoona reported that Blair County Prison guard Eric W. Dostal, Jr., was caught on surveillance video unlocking the cell of an unnamed detainee in September 2022, allowing five other detainees to enter and beat him. Dostal was charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment and released on his recognizance. The five detainees charged with assault were: Richard Ewing, 44; John Jukes, 42; Korey Sitton, 36; Delano Brown, 22; and Kyler Luckadoo, 21. Then, on November 23, 2022, the Greensburg Tribune-Review reported that former Westmoreland County Prison guard Brian J. Prinkey, 25, was arrested for allegedly opening a cell door for a pair of detainees who attacked a third. After a brief exchange with the two detainees, Vincent T. Green, 30, and Nicholas Haynes, 26, Prinkey was seen on surveillance video walking away with a smile on his face. The pair then entered the unlocked door and beat fellow detainee Efrain Nicolas Fernandez, 45. Prinkey denied the accusations, but he was fired and charged with conspiracy and oppression. Haynes faces assault charges. He and Green were also charged with conspiracy.
Pennsylvania: Two Pennsylvania jail guards face criminal consequences for having sex with detainees. The Bucks County Courier-Times reported on November 10, 2022, that former county prison guard Joseph Mahaffey, 51, was sentenced to a year of probation for having sex with an unidentified detainee in December 2021. He pleaded guilty in September 2022. [See: PLN, Oct. 2022, p.64.] Then, on November 25, 2022, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette reported that former Lycoming County Prison guard Olivia Louise Katzmaier, 23, was accused of maintaining a romantic relationship earlier in the year with detainee James Edward King, 45. The affair began with prohibited “communication by phone and message through an inmate phone system,” according to court documents.Katzmaier used an alias, “Deer Park,” while King used a secret cellphone that was found when he was strip-searched before a hearing on federal drug charges. On that phone, investigators also found racy photos that Katzmaier sent King. She later admitted to a sexual relationship with him. The disgraced guard was jailed on $85,000 bail to await trial on institutional sexual assault charges, plus additional counts for allegedly forging the names of other detainees on receipts while she worked in the jail’s commissary.
Pennsylvania: On October 24, 2022, a now-fired Somerset County Jail guard was sentenced to 23 months in state prison for abusing his five children with a dog shock collar. The Daily American reported that John Wesley Bailey, 35, pleaded guilty in July 2022 to one count each of recklessly endangering another person and simple assault. He began working as a guard at the jail in June 2020. The abuse case started the following month, when state police received a referral from ChildLine. A trooper interviewed the juvenile victim, who accused his father of placing a dog shock collar on him and turning it “up to 100,” bringing the child to tears. Bailey’s other children made similar reports. He at first denied the accusations before he confessed to shocking his children five or six times each. In addition to the prison term, he was ordered to pay the costs of prosecution and supervision and $600 in fines. He must also undergo DNA testing.
Pennsylvania: On November 2, 2022, a Philadelphia jail guard was indicted for supplying detainees with drugs and phones. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Khalif Workman, 30, was accused of helping detainee Barry “Bones” Garland run a criminal scheme out of Riverside Correctional Facility during the summer and fall of 2021. Looking to avenge a murder, Garland was allegedly able to procure and deliver an AR-15 rifle to a hitman through the “Pizza Man,” who was Workman. Both were arrested, along with two others, in September 2022. The city Department of Prisons reported a spike in detainee deaths during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. But most of the 29 detainees who died were not killed by the disease; they were murdered, overdosed or committed suicide. [See: PLN, Aug. 2022, p.1.]
Pennsylvania: Patriot-News reported that a state prison guard in Centre County was charged on November 2, 2022, with smuggling narcotics into Benner State Prison. Kevin Bruce Hoch Jr., 40, was also suspended without pay by the state DOC after he was caught with a package of suspected drugs on October 31, 2022. That ended what investigators say was a four-month smuggling scheme. In exchange for the narcotics, Hoch allegedly received $17,000 in bribes from associates of prisoners, taking payment through Cash App. He turned over his phone to investigators and admitted his crimes, citing financial pressures from online gambling.
Sri Lanka: ColomboPage reported that the wife of a prison guard was murdered over a drug dispute. The attack took place on September 23, 2022, when E. Chathurani and her prison guard husband, SD Silva, were headed to a party. The two were riding on a motorcycle in Boralesgamuwa when they were set upon by a pair on another motorcycle, one of whom wielded a knife. Chathurani was killed and Silva was badly injured in the assault. Bystanders broke it up and captured one of the attackers, holding him until police arrived. Chathurani and Silva met at the lockup where he worked when she was held there for drug crimes. An investigation after the attack led police to suspect that the uncaught assailant, reportedly a close associate of the murdered woman, had invited her to the party and directed her along the route where she and her husband were ambushed. The captured assailant claimed to know nothing about a planned killing, only that he was told to attack the couple.
Texas: A former guard at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility in Groves was indicted on October 24, 2022, on charges of possession of a controlled substance.Dylan Michael Moore, 24, was also accused of taking a $500 bribe in exchange for sneaking methamphetamines into the jail, the Port Arthur News reported. He allegedly took the payment through Cash App, delivering the narcotics on August 3, 2022, the same day he was arrested and admitted to the crime. Moore had been employed less than a year at the jail.
Texas: KTRK in Houston reported that the cold-case murder of a state prison guard in 2019 now has a suspect: Robert Dale Clary, 65, was arrested on October 31, 2022, for killing Rhonda Richardson, 59. She was nearing retirement as a guard at the state Department of Criminal Justice’s Polunsky Unit when she was found dead near her home on May 22, 2019, by men riding on ATVs — one of whom was Clary. He then returned to the scene with a nephew, who then alerted police. They found her corpse had been there for days, with signs of blunt-force trauma to her face and head and slashes on her body. Days before her death she had asked neighbors, including Clary, to help find her missing dogs. She was allegedly spotted on his ATV before she was killed. Clary had a record of both assaults and DUIs. But despite suspicions, the case went cold. Technology advances enabled investigators to track both his and Richardson’s phone use, determining that they were very close to each other on the night of the murder.
United Kingdom: An English prison guard in Lincoln was jailed for 14 months for misconduct in public office on October 26, 2022. The Lincolnite reported that HM Prison Service guard Emma Webster, 34, pleaded guilty and was convicted of maintaining inappropriate relationships with two prisoners at HMP Lincoln, just seven months into her employment there. Prison officials discovered that the mother of two began a relationship with prisoner Bradley Brammall in August 2021, using the name Emma Smith to have phone sex with him 17 times. After an argument in October 2021, the relationship fizzled, and Brammall ended it. Webster moved to a different wing in the prison and started another relationship with prisoner Jimmy Bennett, followed by 75 more phone-sex calls over the next month; the court heard she “pleasur[ed] herself” during one call and on another asked Bennett if he was “pulling [his] pants down.” She also sent sexy selfies and love letters, declaring she loved him and calling him her boyfriend.
Virginia: WAVY in Portsmouth reported that a jail guard at the Southampton County Jail Farm was arrested on November 8, 2022, on charges she had a sexual relationship with a detainee to whom she also smuggled contraband. Kimberly Smith was taken into custody after investigators found deleted files that showed the detainee had been in a fight with another detainee. They then found a cellphone in his cell, and he confessed she had provided it.
Virginia: On October 23, 2022, a state prison guard at Keen Mountain Correctional Facility (KMCF) was arrested for fatally shooting a prison nurse who was seven months pregnant with his unborn child. According to the New York Post, the fetus died along with Amber Dawn Compton, 35, whose corpse was found in her home on October 22, 2022. Compton had three children by another man, but police believe the baby she was carrying belonged to KMCF guard Dustin Barret Owens, 38, with whom she was romantically involved. Buchanan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Eric Breeding didn’t reveal a motive for the murder but says he has one. Owens was arraigned on October 24, 2022, but did not enter a plea. He is being held without bond at the Southwest Regional Jail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for January 12, 2023.
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