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Two Ohio Prisoners and Two Guards Tried for Assaults

Two Ohio prisoners have pleaded guilty to assaulting guards, while trials of two other guards accused of assaulting jail detainees in the state resulted in one conviction and one acquittal.

On October 25, 2023, Ohio prisoner Drequan K. Abdullah, 24, was found guilty of throwing urine on an unnamed guard two months earlier at Trumbull Correctional Institution. For that, he had six months added to the nine-year term he is serving for robbery and weapons violation convictions, pushing back his release to April 2027.

Another state prisoner, Marco Cardena, 34, was found guilty of assaulting an unnamed guard at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in December 2021. He was handed an additional conviction for possessing a firearm at the lockup and sentenced on November 8, 2023, adding 54 months to the minimum 21-year term he is serving for a fatal shooting in October 2011.

The following day, on November 9, 2023, a mistrial was declared when a jury could not reach a verdict for guard Mark Cooper, 56, the only one of five members of a “cell extraction” team charged in the 2019 death of Alex Rios, 28, at the Richland County Jail. The county paid $4 million in December 2021 to settle a suit by Rios’ survivors, as PLN reported. [See: PLN, Oct. 2022, p.60.] Cooper was retried and acquitted on all charges on April 24, 2024.

But on August 18, 2023, another jury found a former guard at the Pike County Jail guilty of using excessive force on a detainee. Jeremy C. Mooney, 49, was sentenced on March 27, 2024, to 100 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for an hour-long assault in November 2019 on Thomas Friend, 27, who was handcuffed and barefoot when the guard pepper-sprayed and hit him so hard that he broke his own hand—an injury for which Mooney then filed a workman’s compensation claim. See: United States v. Mooney, USDC (S.D. Ohio), Case No. 2:22-cr-00201.


Sources: Columbus Dispatch, Mahoning Matters, Sandusky Courier, WEWS, WKBN

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