Thursday, January 09, 2014

Two More Former Officers and Another Former Lieutenant at Roxbury Correctional Institution Plead Guilty for Conduct Related to the Assault of an Inmate

Edwin Stigile, formerly a Lieutenant at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., and two former RCI Correctional Officers, Tyson Hinckle and Reginald Martin, each pleaded guilty to an offense arising out of the assault of an inmate on Mar. 9, 2008.  Hinckle pleaded guilty to conspiring to assault an inmate, identified by the initials K.D.  Martin pleaded guilty to failing to intervene to stop the assault of K.D.  Stigile admitted that he was guilty of destroying evidence related to that assault.  Hinckle, Martin and Stigile are the ninth, 10th and 11th former RCI officers to enter a plea in connection with the federal investigation into a series of assaults that K.D. suffered at RCI on Mar. 8-9, 2008. 
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Hinckle admitted that, during the 7 a.m.-3 p.m. shift on Mar. 9, 2008, that he, Dustin Norris and three other RCI officers assaulted K.D. in order to punish him for striking an officer during a prior shift.  Hinckle also admitted that this assault in 2008 was consistent with prior incidents at RCI, where officers from three consecutive shifts would beat an inmate who had previously assaulted an officer.  Finally, Hinckle admitted that he and other officers tried to cover up their involvement in, or knowledge of, the assault of K.D.
Martin admitted that, during the 7 a.m.-3 p.m. shift on Mar. 9, 2008, he watched RCI officers assault K.D.  Instead of stopping the assault, however, Martin walked out of K.D.’s cell and waited.  After some time, Martin heard a supervisor say, “He’s had enough.”  The officers then filed out of K.D.’s cell.  Later, when investigators began to ask to about K.D.’s injuries, Martin met with officers who had been involved in the beating and agreed to falsely deny any knowledge of an assault of K.D.
Stigile, a former lieutenant, admitted that he used a magnetic device to alter and destroy surveillance videotapes related to RCI officers’ assaults of inmates, including the beating of K.D.  Stigile also admitted that, when questioned about K.D. in 2012, he provided false and misleading statements to federal investigators and to a federal grand jury.
“Mr. Hinckle and Mr. Martin have admitted their involvement in an unlawful assault of an inmate, and Mr. Stigile has acknowledged that, as a supervisor, he destroyed evidence related to that assault,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who use their official position to commit and to cover up violations of federal criminal law.”
Stigile faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Hinckle and Martin each could receive a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years of incarceration.  All will be sentenced before U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar, and their sentencing dates are as follows: Stigile will be sentenced Jun. 17, 2014, Hinckle will be sentenced Apr. 7, 2014 and Martin will be sentenced May 15, 2014.
In related cases before Judge Bredar, former RCI Correctional Officers Ryan Lohr, Dustin Norris, Philip Mayo, Jeremy McCusker, Walter Steele, Lanny Harris, Keith Morris and former RCI Lieutenant Robert Harvey each has entered a guilty plea.  Four current or former RCI officers still face federal charges in connection with the alleged assault of K.D.  Two former RCI officers previously entered guilty pleas in state court.   
The investigation by the Frederick Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is ongoing.  The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of Michael Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

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