A federal inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison today for the murder of another inmate, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II of the Northern District of West Virginia.
Patrick Andrews, 34, formerly of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to one count of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and one count of second degree murder in a federal facility for his role in the Oct. 7, 2007, murder of fellow inmate Jesse Harris. U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley of the Northern District of West Virginia sentenced Andrews to life in prison on both counts.
According to his plea agreement, Andrews and fellow inmate, Kevin Bellinger, stabbed Harris to death with homemade knives in an orchestrated attack. According to evidence introduced during Bellinger’s June 2014 trial in this case, while a group of inmates were being moved from the recreation yard back to their cells, Andrews and Bellinger confronted Harris and repeatedly stabbed him. In less than a minute, a correctional officer approached and the attackers fled. Officers apprehended Andrews after reviewing surveillance footage, which showed Andrews and Bellinger engaged in a verbal confrontation with Harris, followed by the two attackers wielding weapons and assaulting Harris, who was unarmed and backing away from them. Harris ultimately died from multiple stab wounds sustained during the attack.
At the time of the murder, Andrews was serving a sentence of 35 years to life in prison for two murders that took place in 1997 and 2000, and Bellinger was serving a sentence of 15 years to life for an assault with intent to kill that took place in 2000.
Bellinger was convicted in this case by a federal jury on June 16, 2014, of one count of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and one count of second degree murder in a federal facility. On Oct. 8, 2014, he was sentenced to life in prison.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Richard Burns from the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar of the Northern District of West Virginia.