More shootings revealed at Nevada prison where handcuffed inmate killed

This comes from The Guardian (US)

April 15, 2015

One prisoner lost an eye and six inmates were wounded by shotgun blasts in two separate incidents at High Desert state prison, according to court papers.

More unreported shootings are coming come to light after the disclosure that a guard shot a handcuffed inmate to death at a Nevada prison where guns were fired more than 200 times in a recent five-year period.

Six inmates were wounded by shotgun blasts from a guard breaking up a breakfast scuffle in January 2012 at High Desert state prison outside Las Vegas, according to federal lawsuits filed on behalf of three wounded inmates. A state lawsuit was filed on behalf of a fourth wounded inmate.

Six months later, inmate Dario Olivas was blinded in one eye when a guard fired a shotgun to stop two other inmates fighting in the dinner hall, according to documents filed by attorney Cal Potter in US district court in Las Vegas.

The Nevada department of corrections deputy chief, Brian Connett, said by email on Tuesday that he was out of the state and unable to respond to questions about state and federal lawsuits reviewed by the Associated Press. Department officials have routinely declined to comment about litigation and investigations.

The revelations come with the Nevada prisons chief, Greg Cox, due to testify on Wednesday on budget questions before state lawmakers in Carson City.

Democratic assemblywoman Maggie Carlton said the Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, should become more involved in investigating reports of prison inmate deaths and injuries.

“When something goes wrong like this, it’s the governor’s responsibility,” Carlton said.

Democratic state senator Richard “Tick” Segerblom said he is troubled by the prison shootings. Nevada department of corrections data obtained by Segerblom shows guards fired 215 gunshots at the prison from 2007-11.

“The shooting of a handcuffed inmate obviously raises red flags,” Segerblom said. “These are serious cases that need to be looked at. It could be systematic [sic] of the overall lack of resources we spend on prisons.”

Sandoval has left investigations of the 12 November killing of inmate Carlos Manuel Perez Jr, 28, and wounding of inmate Andrew Jay Arevalo, 24, to local, county and state authorities. That shooting was not disclosed until a coroner’s report in March.

Potter, who represents Perez’s family in a federal wrongful death and excessive force lawsuit, alleges that guards created a “gladiator-like scenario” to let the two inmates fight in a shower hallway where prisoners are supposed to be kept apart.

The fight ended when a corrections officer trainee fired one warning shot and three live shotgun blasts down the hallway, according to an incident report that identifies the trainee only by his last name. The trainee reported that Perez and Arevalo ignored his verbal commands to stop fighting.

“It’s a system out of control that doesn’t appear to be accountable to anyone,” Potter said. “This calls out for some kind of accountability. I would hope the governor and attorney general would step forward and start answering questions.”

Read the rest here.

After inmate deaths, Department of Justice to probe Florida prison system

This is from the Miami Herald, Dec 13, 2014:

By Julie K. Brown

Bernadette Gregory was getting out of prison in eight months and planning her wedding when she was found hanging in a cell at Florida’s Lowell Correctional Institution.

Prison authorities say Gregory, 42, tied a double knot in a sheet, twisted it several times around her top bunk, looped the other end around her neck and hanged herself.

Despite relying on a wheelchair to get around, she did all of this in 11 minutes — while she was handcuffed, a detail the Department of Corrections’ investigative summary mentions only in passing.

Gregory’s 2009 death is one of many that don’t seem to add up but have nevertheless been tucked away in the department’s files, categorized as suicides, homicides, accidents or natural deaths.

With 320 inmate deaths tallied as of Dec. 8, Florida’s prison system is on track to have the deadliest year in its history. This rise in prison deaths coincides with an aging of the prison population, but also with a doubling of incidents involving the use of force by officers over the past five years.

Now, six months after the Miami Herald began an investigation into the questionable deaths of inmates in Florida’s state prisons, the U.S. Department of Justice is gathering evidence for a possible investigation into whether the agency has violated the constitutional rights of prisoners. The Justice Department has sent letters to Florida’s three U.S. attorneys informing them of the inquiry.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article4457578.html#storylink=cpy

Officials investigate inmate death at Ely State Prison

How many more people must die alone, unexplained, without medical care, after very long time inside Nevada’s prisons?

Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, by Ana Ley, Las Vegas Sun

State corrections officials are investigating the death of an Ely State Prison inmate who was found unconscious inside his cell earlier this week.

Paul Skinner, 53, was discovered by prison staff on Tuesday. Medical personnel unsuccessfully tried to revive Skinner until paramedics rushed him to the William Bee Ririe Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

….

Read the rest here…

Another inmate at Northern Nevada prison dies

Four deaths in one month, in a medical facility… It is high time Nevada’s people and chosen representatives demands oversight and an independent Ombudsman for its NDOC-run prisons!

From: LV Sun, Oct 26, 2013:

Another inmate from the Northern Nevada Regional Correctional Center has died, marking the prison’s fourth death this month.

Joseph Oxford-McArthur, 31, was found unconscious in his cell Monday and was taken to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, where he died four days later. Oxford-McArthur had been behind prison bars since July, serving a one- to three-year sentence for domestic battery. His case originated in Churchill County.

Officials with the Nevada Department of Corrections said no other details about Churchill’s death were available Saturday.

Read the rest here

Within week, 2 die at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga.

From: Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dec 28th 2012

Dec 28, 2012 (Menafn – Chattanooga Times Free Press – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –The death of an inmate on Christmas night at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga., was the second in a week.

State investigators say they don’t believe the deaths are related, though both died in the same cellblock at the maximum security prison.

“They weren’t tied any way together,” Georgia Bureau of Investigations Agent James Harris said. “That was the first thing on our minds.”

Damien McClain, 27, who was serving time on two armed robbery convictions, was killed in a prison cell late Christmas night after getting in a fight with another inmate, Harris said.

On Thursday, GBI agents arrested inmate Daniel Ferguson and charged him with murder in McClain’s death. Ferguson, who already is serving a life sentence for murder, was taken to the Chattooga County Jail to be booked and then likely will be returned to Hays to await a transfer, officials said.

GBI agents were at the prison Thursday investigating McClain’s death and that of 25-year-old Derrick Stubbs, who was found dead Dec. 19.

While Georgia Department of Corrections officials have been mum on Stubbs’ death, his mother, Shawn Singleton, said she was told her son was being held in protective custody after a fight when he was found dead. Stubbs had been at Hays for more than a year on two counts of armed robbery.

Singleton, who is burying her son today in Chicago, is searching for more answers to what happened, but she said corrections officials won’t return her calls.

Read the rest here: http://www.menafn.com/menafn/561d65d1-0c54-4990-a6be-e1d71789dd22/Within-week-2-die-at-Hays-State-Prison-Trion-Ga?src=main

Two prisoners die in state prisons after being found in cells

From: KSNV MyNews

LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) — Nov 17th 2012

Two prisoners have died over the past two days after being found unresponsive in their state prison cells.

Nevada Department of Corrections officials said in a news release today that John Biasi, 55, was found dead in his single cell at High Desert State Prison about 4 p.m. Friday.

Biasi was serving 10 to 25 years for second-degree murder and a consecutive term of 5 to 15 years for use of a deadly weapon. He was convicted in Clark County and had been in state custody since November 2011.

NDOC said today that Winston Kelly, 38, was found unresponsive in his single cell during the 11 a.m. head count at Ely State Prison. He was taken to William Bee Ririe Hospital in Ely and was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. He was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery and use of a deadly weapon in Elko County

Officials said both deaths are being investigated and no other information is available.

Authorities investigate inmate death at Ely prison

From: SF Chronicle: Aug 17th 2012
ELY, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada inmate is dead following an undisclosed incident at Ely State Prison.
The Department of Corrections has identified the inmate as 49-year-old Clayton Wrencher. The incident happened early Friday.
Wrencher was convicted in 2010 of murder in Clark County and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Officials say the death is being investigated by the White Pine County sheriff’s office and the state Inspector General‘s Office.
Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Connett says further details are being withheld pending the outcome of the investigations.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Authorities-investigate-inmate-death-at-Ely-prison-3796508.php#ixzz24C1uY0bi