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News in Brief

Alabama: On August 12, 2023, an Alabama jail guard was caught – in uniform – stealing Pokemon cards from a Walmart. WBMA in Birmingham reported that Josh Hardy then fled store security on foot before cops caught him in a nearby restaurant. Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade announced “with great embarrassment” that Hardy was fired and charged with theft.

Alabama: A state prisoner posted a Facebook rant from his cell at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility on August 13, 2023 – while holding a gun and wearing a guard’s vest as he smoked. 1819 News reported that Derrol Shaw, 36, called prison “a continuation of slavery” that was only “beating the people out of tax money.” The state Department of Corrections (DOC) put the prison on lockdown, and Shaw was charged the next day with first-degree escape, promoting prison contraband, and making terroristic threats. It was unclear how he got the gun, vest and cigarette. He is serving a life term for a 2006 shooting spree that claimed four victims, including an octogenarian couple, their 19-year-old grandson and a 91-year-old church deacon.

Arizona: Graham County Sheriff’s deputies went into the county jail to arrest a guard on August 8, 2023. The local Gila Herald reported that Cody Dallas Reed, 28, faces charges out of Georgia of child molestation and transmission of photography or video portraying nudity or sexually explicit conduct of an adult. Reed was booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility where he worked. He was scheduled to be extradited to Georgia in mid-August to face the charges. Ironically Reed had shared an image on his Facebook page of two bullets with the caption “Cure for Pedophilia.” Luckily for him, he won’t be his own judge.

California: On August 7, 2023, former San Joaquin County Jail guard Brandon Wolff was sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to possessing an illegal assault weapon and unauthorized use of computer data. The Stockton Record reported that Wolff also received two-years’ probation. Sheriff Patrick Withrow announced on February 1, 2023, that Wolff was arrested on suspicion of possessing an assault weapon and drugs with intent to sell. Later that month, he was charged with unauthorized use of computer data, illegal computer access and fraud. He decided to resign in July 2023 in lieu of being fired from the sheriff’s office.

Colorado: After an almost five-year search, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) recaptured Alan Todd May, 58, on August 1, 2023. AP News reported that investigators acting on a tip followed May’s partner in a U-Haul truck to the couple’s new address in Fort Lauderdale – a $1.5-million mansion by the ocean. May was serving a 20-year prison term for mail fraud and running a Ponzi scheme when he stole a federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) vehicle in December 2018 and escaped the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Englewood, Colorado. By the time of his arrest, he owned the mansion, wore a Rolex watch and was driving a luxurious Mercedes Benz. The anonymous tipster collected a $5,000 award after spotting a picture of May, who was living under the alias “Jacob Turner,” in a story featured in the Palm Beach Daily News. Before escaping from the Colorado lockup, May stole $700,000 by fraudulently claiming oil and gas royalties, according to a June 2022 indictment. A social media page connected to “Jacob Turner” said he is a “certified mediator” in Palm Beach. While doing time in prison, May apparently completed a mediation class in addition to setting up the phony gas and royalties claims.

District of Columbia: According to WJLA in Washington, D.C., a guard at the Central Detention Center Facility was sentenced on August 21, 2023, for a bribery conviction stemming from a scheme to smuggle drugs into the lockup. Sentenced along with Beverly Williams, 52, was co-conspirator Andre Gregory, 31, a prisoner at the jail. He had three and a half years added to an eight-year sentence he was serving for a 2019 carjacking. One of his relatives, Keywaune McLeod, 28 – a third co-conspirator not yet incarcerated – is awaiting sentencing. Williams and Gregory admitted that while she was working at the jail in 2022, he paid her $6,400 in bribes to smuggle drugs. As reported by WUSA in D.C., McLeod managed packaging and payments for the operation, giving drugs and cigarettes to Williams, who then muled them into the jail and passed the contraband to Gregory in areas out of camera view. Gregory then distributed the drugs to incarcerated buyers, and McLeod processed the purchases, communicating with McLeod in coded language on jail-issued phones and tablets, while also using CashApp to pay Williams.

Florida: The federal Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on July 20, 2023, that former BOP guard Katrina Denise McCoy, 40, was charged with filing false disability claims from 2019 to 2021. McCoy made false representations and submitted fictitious documentation using identities stolen from two victims. She faces 14 counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. The scheme netted her nearly $40,000, of which the indictment provided for forfeiture. If convicted, the former guard faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud and a two-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for aggravated identity theft.

Florida: Another former BOP prison guard was sentenced to just 15 months in federal prison for sexual abuse of a prisoner on July 21, 2023. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Fiona Eyana Palmer, 39, was found guilty in April 2023 of sexually abusing a prisoner while working at the Federal Correction Complex in Coleman. Evidence presented at trial included two recorded phone calls between Palmer and the prisoner in which she discussed the sexual acts and offered to send money to one of his relatives. Palmer also directed the prisoner to lie to federal investigators looking into their relationship. She could have faced 15 years in federal prison on the charge.

Florida: WEAR in Pensacola reported that a state prisoner was found guilty of attempted second degree murder of a guard on August 17, 2023. Tijuan Isaac, 28, also was convicted of possession of a weapon in a state correctional institution. On January 19, 2021, an unnamed guard at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution was inspecting the cell next to Isaac’s when the prisoner exited his cell holding a homemade weapon and proceeded to chase the guard around the cellblock until he was able to escape. Isaac was serving a 50-year term – 40 for killing 17-year-old Jiron Dent in a 2013 shootout between two carloads of people in Daytona Beach, plus another 10 for sending threatening letters to a pair of Volusia County judges involved in the case. For his latest conviction, Isaac will now serve the remainder of his life in DOC custody.

Georgia: In July 2023, Macon County law enforcement became suspicious of a vehicle with a broken headlight when it stopped near the warden’s home on the grounds of Macon State Prison. As WSB in Atlanta reported, county deputies then pulled over the vehicle and seized 2,627 grams of tobacco, 120 grams of marijuana, 14 cell phones, six chargers and a drone. Driver Audrea Guidi and passenger Bobby Minor were arrested on suspicion of attempted smuggling.

Georgia: Former DeKalb County Jail guard Cesary Wilborn, 33, pleaded guilty on August 28, 2023, to charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and three counts of violation of oath by a public officer for two assaults on detainees dating back seven years. WXIA in Atlanta reported that hours after Wilborn struck detainee Demetre Mason in the head in 2016, the 29-year-old suffered a seizure and fell from the top bunk of his cell, fracturing his jaw. Then in 2018, Wilborn punched an unnamed prisoner 14 times for slapping his tray of food. The guard then body slammed the prisoner to the ground in a beating caught on video. It was unclear why justice was delayed so long for Wilborn. He caught another break at sentencing under the First Offender Act, with nine years of his 10-year sentence probated and the other to be completed in the Probation Detention Center. He must also complete 200 hours of community service and is not allowed to work in law enforcement – but only for the duration of his sentence.

Georgia: The Dekalb County Jail was also the scene of three separate smuggling attempts on June 11, 15 and 16, 2023, according to WSB in Atlanta. The first went south when a string snapped that was being used to lift a bag of Versace eyeglasses, cellphones, chargers, lighters, vape pens and shaving powder to a prisoner’s broken cell window. Tremaine Ward, 22, Quintavious Chase, 28, and Miracle Smith, 18, were charged with conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor in that incident. In the second incident, three people were arrested after leaving a “delivery person” at the jail to drop off a bag filled with cigarettes and loose tobacco. Blake Street, 36, was arrested while fleeing from the jail; accomplices Jazmyne Howard, 32, and Broje Simmons, 29, were arrested nearby. Street was charged with crossing guard lines without consent. Howard and Simmons were charged with trespassing for an unlawful purpose. In the most recent incident, Hertis Johnson, 60, attempted to smuggle a bag with Jack Daniels whiskey, marijuana, personal hygiene items, cellphone accessories, rolling papers and lighters into the jail. He was charged with marijuana possession and crossing guard lines without consent.

Indiana: The Herald Bulletin in suburban Indianapolis reported that two state prison guards were fired on August 11, 2023, one day after they were arrested on charges of battery and official misconduct. The state DOC terminated Leslie Gray, 43, and Thomas Matthew Opie, 34, for mistreating prisoner Gary Hanney after he overdosed on June 25, 2023. While he was still unconscious, the guards tested his responsiveness repeatedly using sternum rubs, which are controversial because of pain they provoke and damage they cause to tissues. Surveillance video showed Gray and Opie continuing to apply sternum rubs on Hanney after he began responding. They also slapped his face more than 30 times and failed to properly record his injuries.

Louisiana: Ryan Callaway, 30, a former employee of the Corrections Division in the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, was fired on August 30, 2023, and booked into jail on charges of introducing contraband into a penal facility and malfeasance in office, according to The Advocate. He had been employed at the lockup for about a year when he admitted to the charges in an interview with detectives, Sheriff Bobby Webre said. The sheriff’s office added that the arrest followed a two-week investigation, but no further details were provided – including what kind of contraband Callaway had allegedly been smuggling into the jail.

Michigan: A phone call between two prisoners at Thumb Correctional Center, plus security footage, led investigators to suspect former guard Brandon McGaffigan, 29, was smuggling drugs into the lockup. When questioned as he returned from lunch break on January 22, 2023, Gaffigan agreed to a search of his vehicle that turned up a veritable candy store of narcotics: 54.8 grams of methamphetamine, 309 suboxone strips, 10.2 grams of heroin, five syringes of what was assumed to be liquid THC, a plastic bottle filled with marijuana wax, six Oxycodone pills and 5.86 grams of cocaine. In April 2023 McGaffigan was arraigned on three separate federal counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. Each count carried a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. But on August 7, 2023, he was sentenced to just three years, followed by two years of supervised release.

Mississippi: AP News reported that a former prison guard at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) pleaded guilty on July 27, 2023, to beating a prisoner. As PLN reported, the December 2022 federal indictment for Jessica Hill, 35, described her 2019 assault on the unnamed prisoner with a pepper spray canister, after which she punched her in the head repeatedly. [See: PLN, Feb. 2023, p.63.] She will be sentenced for deprivation of rights under color of law on October 25, 2023. Former case manager Nicole Moore, 44, pleaded guilty to the same charge in the same incident on April 28, 2023, and was set for sentencing in September 2023. Both former DOC employees face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Missouri: The Kansas City Star reported that a man who helped two prisoners escape the Cass County Jail was sentenced on August 21, 2023. Steven Williams, Sr., 64, will spend more than three years in federal prison for abetting the December 2022 escape by Trevor Scott Sparks, 33, and Sergio Perez Martinez, 43. It was from Williams’ garage that Sparks ran a $4.1 million drug empire which peddled 520 kilos of meth across the Kansas City area before Sparks’ conviction on related federal charges in November 2022. Sparks and Martinez – who was also convicted on federal drug and money-laundering charges – were awaiting transfer to BOP custody on the night of December 5, 2022, when Sparks called Williams from a jail phone and instructed him to be at a gas station a short distance away. After picking up the escapees, Williams took them to his apartment and fed and clothed them. As PLN reported, Sparks was recaptured on December 30, 2022, and charged with escape. His mother, Dawn Branstietter, 55, and her husband John Baxter, 57, were arrested for abetting him, along with Nicholas Parris, 38, who used to date Sparks’ sister. [See: PLN, Mar. 2023, p.63.] All three are still awaiting trial. Martinez, remains at large.

Montana: A man accused of assaulting a guard at a Bureau of Indian Affairs jail on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation pleaded guilty on June 26, 2023. According to the Cutbank Pioneer Press, Joseph E. Potts, 32, was incarcerated at the lockup on August 15, 2021, when the “John Doe” guard spotted him pacing suspiciously between his cell and another. Without provocation Potts then grabbed the guard by the neck and tried to put him into a chokehold. Other prisoners had to pull Potts from the guard. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Myanmar: On August 17, 2023, a truck transferring 100 political prisoners between prisons hit a landmine, killing two people and injuring five. According to Radio Free Asia, the fatalities included Civil Disobedience Movement Dr. Zaw Htwel Aung, 33, and the unnamed truck driver. Autung was serving a 10-year sentence for alleged terrorist activities. A few months before the fatal transport, two female political prisoners were injured when their transport hit a landmine on the same road. It remains unclear who was responsible for planting the mines.

Nevada: KLAS in Las Vegas reported that two state prisoners escaped from their segregation cages at the High Desert State Prison on August 20, 2023. Lathaniel Hutcherson, 28, and Rudy Herrera, 30, scaled the chain-link enclosures, forced the tops loose and then climbed out to fight each other. Hutcherson was armed with a weapon made of wire, and Herrera had a shank. Hutcherson died in the incident, marking an end to his struggles at the prison. He had previously been in a Behavioral Modification Program, in addition to being placed in segregation after racking up debts with two prison gangs. The deadly incident highlighted a severe staffing shortage and infrastructure problems at state prisons, according to the guards’ union. Had a guard been at the gun tower, it is doubtful that the fight would have reached its deadly conclusion, said Paul Lunkwitz, President of Fraternal Order of Police Nevada C.O. Lodge 21. The state DOC said that 31% of the staff positions at the prison were unfilled.

New Mexico: On June 12, 2023, a former state prison guard was sentenced to three years of supervised probation for sexually assaulting a prisoner at Western New Mexico Corrections Facility. The Albuquerque Journal reported that Dale Clemons, 27, was originally charged with three counts of criminal sexual penetration by a person in authority over inmates. Two counts were dismissed under an agreement that included his guilty plea to the third. The victim’s attorney, Levi Monagle, reported she has suffered retaliation from other guards who serve her meals off-schedule and will not allow her outdoors. He said the woman was filing a lawsuit against Clemons and the state Corrections Department for violating her constitutional rights.

New Mexico: On July 25, 2023, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed by a Doña Ana County Detention Center detainee who was allegedly injured by a guard in May 2022. Vicente Sanchez was taking a shower with other detainees when guard Brady Kehres ordered them to return to their cells. But Sanchez said he could not hear the demand over the running water, so he remained. Believing Sanchez was disregarding his order, Kehres fired two shots from his KelTech shotgun, striking Sanchez in the leg. The guard claimed afterward that Sanchez was acting “aggressively,” but footage from his own body-camera showed Sanchez naked and compliant at the time. Sanchez sustained a wound requiring daily care for months. He did not regain full mobility of the leg and still suffers discomfort and pain. His suit asks the federal court for the District of New Mexico to award him damages. See: Sanchez v. Kehres, USDC (D.N.M.), Case No. 1:23-cv-00622.

New York: The New York Daily News reported that a Rikers Island detainee was literally a step away from freedom on July 27, 2023, when he was caught walking out the door of Otis Bantum Correctional Center in the jail complex. Bokeem Jones, 28, somehow accessed the gym and stole a guard’s uniform to disguise himself for the attempted escape. He then knocked on a locked exit door and was let through, coolly heading toward freedom until he was recognized and ordered to stop. But Jones didn’t go down so easily, assuming a “fighting stance,” guards said. They then deployed a chemical agent, and Jones was apprehended. He was awaiting trial for an alleged 2022 assault in Brooklyn. To that count has now been added a charge of attempted escape, according to an August 2023 announcement by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

New York: On August 1, 2023, the Albany Times Union reported that a Black former state prison guard filed suit in state court against the New York Department of Corrections and Community Services (DOCCS) over an incident the year before, in which four fellow guards at Great Meadow Correctional Facility allegedly threatened him and beat him with batons. Vitolio Juene’s suit said the four made death threats and used racial slurs during the assault, mocking Jeune by repeating “I can’t breathe,” the last words of Eric Garner as he died at the hands of New York City police in July 2014 and, even more famously, also the last words of George Floyd as he was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. DOCCS returned two of the attackers to work but placed Jeune on administrative leave, his complaint recalled, eventually firing him during his probationary employment period despite “no disciplinary issues, negative performance evaluations, warnings, or other performance problems.”

New York: Mid-Hudson News reported that a guard at the Orange County Jail was arrested on August 17, 2023, when he was placed on administrative leave and charged with promoting prison contraband in the second degree. Gioron Wilkins was arrested after a month-long investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division Crisis Intervention Unit and Office of Professional Standard and Compliance. Wilkins allegedly snuck tobacco products into the lockup that he intended to give detainees. Additionally, he is accused of possessing an unauthorized cellular device while inside the secure area of the jail.

Ohio: Adam Bess, 35, a former Erie County Jail guard, pleaded guilty to depriving a detainee of her constitutional rights by using excessive force, receiving a six-month prison sentence and six months of home detention on August 4, 2023, according to the Sandusky Register. Bess put the detainee in a chokehold when she refused to pose for her mugshot in October 2021. Surveillance footage captured his hands around the woman’s neck during a struggle to seat her in a restraint chair. Photographs from the incident report showed “numerous dark red marks on her neck.” Bess, a sergeant at the time he resigned in November 2021, could have faced 10 years in prison.

Oklahoma: According to KFOR in Oklahoma City, a deputy with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was transporting a detainee to the county jail when he allegedly stopped in a secluded area and sexually assaulted her on July 20, 2023. CCSO asked the state Bureau of Investigation to look into the allegations against Wesley Wayne Hunter, Jr. on July 25, 2023. He was then arrested and booked on second degree rape charges. However, because Hunter is Native American and the assault took place on a reservation, the case will be heard in federal court. Hunter is no longer employed by CCSO. While transporting another detainee to the lockup from the Marshall County Jail in April 2022, CCSO guard David Wayne Loman, then 58, was also accused of sexually assaulting her. He was fired and arrested on charges of forcible sodomy, sexual battery, and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses, and his bond was set at $25,000.

Oregon: On August 1, 2023, Kirk Evanoff was the Multnomah County guard assigned to watch detainee Clemente Pineda, 36. According to the guard, Pineda spent a good portion of the afternoon face down and breathing but not responding to questions. But Evanoff failed to seek medical attention for Pineda, though medical staff accompanied him on at least one cell check. Pineda was eventually pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., less than an hour after Evanoff’s shift ended – a 16-hour double shift because the jail was so understaffed. On August 11, 2023, about a year after Evanoff was hired, he was terminated, telling Willamette Week, “I was scapegoated. I followed policy. [Pineda] showed no signs of distress and was breathing.” Pineda’s death was the sixth in three months in county jails. Rookie Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell said some of the deaths appeared to be drug-related and ordered strip searches to keep fentanyl out of the jails.

Pennsylvania: A 51-year-old guard at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia was attacked by a prisoner on July 16, 2023, WTFX reported. While the unnamed guard was trying to lock his cell, Tarrell Rister, 35, allegedly knocked him unconscious, leaving him with broken bones in his face that required a visit to a hospital intensive care unit. The head of the guards’ union, Local 159 President David Robinson of the American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees District Council 33, said the injured guard has 21 years on the job but was trying to manage 80 detainees at the time of the attack. “If he had a partner, someone to watch his back, maybe they could have fought together, and the beating wouldn’t have been as bad,” he said. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rister now faces charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault by a prisoner. He was awaiting retrial for the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old after a mistrial declared in 2022 when Rister punched his lawyer.

Pennsylvania: According to WTAE in Pittsburgh, an Allegheny County Jail guard was arrested on August 14, 2023, on suspicion of receiving contraband from a detainee. Scott Stawiarski, 31, was charged with official oppression, filing false reports to law enforcement authorities and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Stawiarski originally claimed that he found the contraband in a detainee’s cell on June 17, 2023. But he eventually admitted to investigators that another detainee had given him the contraband for safekeeping during a cell search. Charges that had been filed against the falsely accused detainee were then dropped, and the dishonest guard was suspended without pay while the investigation continues.

Rhode Island: On August 25, 2023, a fight broke out between two prisoners at the Adult Correctional Institution in Rhode Island. According to WPRI in Providence, a guard was injured while trying to stop the fight, causing the prison to go on lockdown. But several prisoners refused to clear the prison’s secure yard. According to state DOC spokesperson Ryan Crowley, “several dozen” prisoners persuaded others to disobey the guards’ orders and then assault staff. Richard Ferruccio, president of the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers, blamed a rise in cases of prisoners disobeying staff on recent changes in disciplinary policies.

South Carolina: Two former guards at McCormick Correctional Institution were arrested on July 19, 2023. WRDW reported that Shirlee Renee Craig-Hart, 59, and Jada Nicole James, 22, were charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate and misconduct in office. Craig-Hart was fired. James resigned before charges were filed. A magistrate set Craig-Hart’s bond at $15,000. The day after their warrants were announced, indictments were issued for another five guards at the prison accused of conspiring to smuggle contraband: Brittany Marie Pixley, Judy Willis Mather, Shaquaila Ewnique Morgan, Dion T. Gaines and George Stevenson Leverette. Pixley is also accused of sexual misconduct with an unnamed prisoner.

South Dakota: The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported that on August 15, 2023, a former South Dakota State Penitentiary prison guard was convicted of two counts of simple assault on a prisoner. Joshua Westenkirchner, 42, was indicted in December 2022 for the March 2022 attack on the unnamed prisoner. According to court documents, the jury found him not guilty on a third charge of simple assault and one count of aggravated assault. He will serve no prison time.

Tennessee: Two guards at neighboring Tennessee jails were hit with smuggling charges in July 2023. The Morristown Citizen Tribune reported that Hamblen County Jail Guard Chastity Merritt was interviewed before her shift on July 17, 2023, and a search of her bags turned up 14.6 grams of methamphetamine, a hydrocodone pill, a loaded .38 pistol and a bottle of some drug that did not belong to her. She was charged and released on an unspecified bond. A hop, skip and a jump away at the Campbell County Jail, WATE in Knoxville reported that former guard Michael J. McCarty, 43, was indicted on charges of official misconduct on July 21, 2023, for allegedly bringing narcotics into the jail in exchange for bribes. His bond was set at $10,000.

Texas: A former guard at a prison privately run for BOP was sentenced on August 3, 2023, to a year and a day in prison followed by one year of supervised release. KCBD in Lubbock reported that Jasmine Arellano faced a maximum of 15 years in prison for taking bribes to smuggle narcotics and other contraband into the Giles W. Dalby Correctional Facility, which is run for BOP by Management & Training Corp. Arellano, who began working at the lockup in 2019 and resigned in May 2021, admitted accepting money from a prisoner with whom she began a relationship. The prisoner would send her money online, and in exchange she brought the prisoner cologne, candy, cigarettes and workout supplements. Eventually she started smuggling cocaine, synthetic marijuana, THC-infused edibles and vodka. About a month after DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General learned that Arellano was involved in the misconduct, she resigned. Arellano apologized for her actions. “I was young, and I made a mistake,” she said.

United Kingdom: They don’t call him the “Saw Killer” for nothing. According to The Sun, Matthew Tinling, 36, the notorious killer held in Britain’s HMP Woodhill, was already serving two life sentences – one for sawing an ex-soldier’s spine, and the other for committing a knife attack against a fellow prisoner – when he stabbed a guard in the neck with a shank he was hiding in his mouth. The guard required 18 stitches to close the wound. Tinling boasted of “mangl[ing] his face.” For the assault, Tinling had seven more years pinned to his multiple life sentences, pushing his earliest possible parole date from 2055 to 2062 – when he’ll be 75.

Utah: On July 14, 2023, a state DOC official announced that a K-9 died inside a prison vehicle the night before. The Salt Lake Tribune described Loki as an 8-year-old Belgian shepherd who started working for DOC when he was just two years old. It said the vehicle was specifically designed for K-9 travel and included a heat detection system. But the prison system news release left out some pertinent information regarding the tragedy. How long was Loki left in the vehicle before he was found dead? Was the vehicle running with air-conditioning? Why was no alert received? DOC Executive Director Brian Redd said it was unclear whether the equipment malfunctioned or failed because of operator error. Loki’s K-9 handler is not facing disciplinary action but was placed on leave to process the loss of his canine partner.

Washington: According to the Yakima Herald Republic, a detainee at Yakima’s city jail was sentenced to more than nine years in prison on August 21, 2023, for assaulting a guard. In Jose Luis Acevedo’s plea agreement, he admitted attacking guard Edward Opsahl on November 11, 2021. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a second-degree assault charge and suggested a sentence between 93 and 123 months. Acevedo said in a statement, “I don’t remember doing it at all. I was under the influence of a drug I had not taken before.” Surveillance footage showed Opsahl entering a cell used to hold intoxicated detainees and those suffering a mental health crisis. Acevedo was then seen coming out of the cell. Another prisoner found Opsahl in the cell on the floor and notified the jail’s control center. Opsahl was taken to the hospital with extensive head injuries. When the attack occurred, Acevedo was being held on misdemeanor charges of assault, exposing a child to domestic violence, and violating a no-contact order. The Yakima Police Department said Opsahl is working toward returning to full duty.

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