Corrections officer charged in criminal sexual conduct case


Charles Deveaux, photo courtesy Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center
Charles Deveaux, photo courtesy Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A 54-year-old man has been charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and authorities say the victim was under 11 years of age.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announced Thursday the arrest of 54-year-old Charles Deveaux, a correction officer at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

Sheriff Lott stated that the 10-year-old victim in this case reported on June 22nd to her mother that she was sexually assaulted by Deveaux.

Lott said the mother reported the assault to the sheriff’s department and investigators determined that the 10-year-old was assaulted by Deveaux.

Officials say Deveaux no longer works for Richland County.

Sheriff Lott said Deveaux turned himself in to investigators at 1pm Thursday, was charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor – victim under 11 years of age – and booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.


Former head of Illinois corrections sent to prison for 2 years for taking payoffs

CHICAGO (AP) _ Fighting back tears and apologizing to his teenage daughters, the former head of the Illinois prison system was sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking payoffs from lobbyists.

“What I did was absolutely wrong,” said Donald Snyder, who admitted pocketing $50,000 from lobbyists when he was director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

He said he hoped his conviction on the charges would not bias employers against his daughters when they grow up and look for jobs. “I’m sorry, girls,” he said, turning to the bench where they were sitting.

Snyder, who pleaded guilty, also volunteered to be a federal witness, secretly recorded corrupt conversations and testified at the trial of one of the lobbyists.

Judge James B. Zagel chastised Snyder. “I didn’t believe much of your testimony and I didn’t believe much of your testimony because of your claimed lack of memory,” Zagel told him.

Snyder admitted that he took $30,000 from Larry Sims, a lobbyist for two vendors. He said he pocketed up to $20,000 from two other lobbyists, former Cook County undersheriff John Robinson and Michael J. Mahoney.

Sims and Robinson have pleaded guilty. Mahoney was acquitted in a bench trial before Zagel.

The case drew attention not only because of Snyder’s position but because Mahoney had lobbied the prison system while executive director of the John Howard Association, a prison reform organization.

Besides sentencing Snyder to two years in prison, Zagel ordered him to forfeit $50,000, the amount of the payoffs he pocketed, and perform 300 hours of community service at a rate of 20 hours a week.

Michael Metnick, Snyder’s lawyer, urged Zagel to consider the good job Snyder did in improving the state’s prison system, reducing the amount of gang violence.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel Levin said that much of Snyder’s tenure as corrections director was marked by “waste, mismanagement, cronyism and abuse of office.”

Zagel said Snyder, who served as Illinois corrections director from 1999 through early 2003, diminished the stature of government officials by setting a terrible example and making people doubt their integrity.

Former Prison Guard Pleads In Fayette County Court

A former guard at the Mt. Olive prison has admitted helping an inmate escape.

FAYETTEVILLE- — Clarissa Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty to permitting the escape of a prisoner.

Police say Johnson allowed Robert Brady to escape from a work detail at the prison last November.

Brady was on the run for nearly two months before he was re-captured.

Johnson will be sentenced Sept. 15.

She faces one to five years in prison.

Brady goes on trial for the escape next week.


2 prison guards sentenced in suspected Mexican drug lord’s escape

MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities say two prison guards have been sentenced to eight and 19 years in jail, respectively, for helping suspected drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escape in 2001.

The federal Attorney General’s Office says Carlos Ochoa and Victor Godoy were guards at the Puente Grande federal prison in the western Mexican state of Jalisco when Guzman escaped. They were in charge of manning the prison’s gates.

The office announced the sentences in a statement issued Wednesday.

Guzman is the alleged leader of the Sinaloa cartel. Investigators say he escaped from Puente Grande in a laundry cart after bribing guards.


Correctional Officer Arrested with ex-con on Drug Charges


On July 28, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Louisiana State Police – Troop D, Criminal Patrol Units stopped a 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit for a traffic violation on Interstate 10 near milepost 49 in Jefferson Davis Parish. The Volkswagen was occupied by the driver 28 year old LaQuatta Marie Felder of Houston, TX and a passenger 33 year old Joseph Hubert Harris of New Orleans, LA.

Troopers conducted a roadside interview and asked for a consent to search for the Volkswagen. LaQuatta Marie Felder refused to give consent. Utilizing a State Police K-9 unit, Troopers were able to search the Volkswagen and discovered 1.2 pounds of cocaine in a suitcase located in the trunk of the vehicle.

Troopers conducted an interview and learned that LaQuatta Marie Felder is employed as a correctional officer at the Darrington Penitentiary in Rosharon, TX and Joseph Hubert Harris was a former inmate at Darrington Penitentiary in Rosharon, TX. Felder and Harris were booked into the Jefferson Davis Parish Jail for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine.


Police investigate jail Taser death

Authorities are investigating the death of a man who officers shocked with a Taser in jail after a shoplifting arrest, a newspaper reported Tuesday.


The Statesville Record & Landmark reported that Anthony Dewayne Davidson, 29, of Statesville, died Sunday night after being taken off life support. Assistant Police Chief Tom Anderson said Davidson was arrested Saturday after a grocery store reported a shoplifting.

Anderson said at least one police officer and possibly a jailer used a Taser on Davidson during an altercation in a hallway near the magistrate’s office. A jail nurse recommended he be taken to a hospital and he later died.

Davidson’s family is questioning the man’s treatment. They say they have photos showing bruising on his face and lacerations on his head and hands.

Police are investigating the events surrounding Davidson’s death, Anderson said. The State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a separate review, as is the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Davidson was arrested without incident, but exhibited odd behavior during the trip to the Iredell County Detention Center, Anderson said. After he saw a magistrate and was given a $500 bond, Davidson became uncooperative and aggressive, he said.

Anderson said officers believed Davidson was under the influence of an impairing substance.

A county sheriff’s deputy was injured in the scuffle, said Iredell County Sheriff Phil Redmond, adding that Davidson tried to run.

Davidson’s uncle, Jerry Moore, said his nephew was bruised on his face and had a knot over his right eye and questioned why a Taser was needed because his nephew was handcuffed. Moore showed the newspaper pictures he took of Davidson after he was pronounced dead.

“We just want the truth and it’s not being told,” Moore said. “One fall from a Taser doesn’t put that on your face.”

Anderson said an autopsy will be conducted this week.

He added that he was surprised by the death, which was the first one of someone shocked with a Taser since the city began using the devices in 2004.

“I hate it,” Anderson said. “It’s unfortunate.”


Deputy’s trial to begin in inmate’s jail death

Prosecutors plan to use 90 photos from autopsy depicting injuries

In September 2006, barely a month after the death of Summit County Jail inmate Mark D. McCullaugh Jr., his father talked about the hardships of the funeral.

McCullaugh, 28, was so badly beaten in the face and other areas of the head, his father said, the casket had to be closed.

Now, nearly two years later, court records show that prosecutors plan to use 90 autopsy photographs — depicting external and internal views of numerous injuries to the upper and lower body — when they take the first of five sheriff’s deputies to trial for McCullaugh’s death.

Among those injuries, according to court records filed in May, were seven fractured ribs incurred during a violent struggle with the deputies in McCullaugh’s cell in the jail’s mental-health unit on Aug. 20, 2006.

The trial of deputy Stephen Krendick, 35, is set to begin Monday morning in Summit County Common Pleas Court before visiting Judge Herman F. Inderlied Jr. of Geauga County.

Krendick, who waived his right to a jury trial, faces the most serious charge in the deadly incident — one count of murder. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for 15 years to life.

He has pleaded not guilty in various court proceedings since his Sept. 7 indictment and is free on bond. Last month, Krendick
had his pay reinstated by Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander.

The other deputies who were indicted — Brett Hadley, Brian Polinger, Dominic Martucci and Mark Mayer — are scheduled to go to trial before Inderlied later this year.

Defense experts

In an apparent attempt to counter the autopsy evidence in the government’s case, Krendick’s lawyers, Robert C. Baker of Akron and James M. Kersey of Cleveland, said in their trial brief that six medical experts will testify that the deputies were not at fault in McCullaugh’s death.

”The events which led to Mr. McCullaugh’s death were set in motion, not by Stephen Krendick and any of the other deputies, but by Mark McCullaugh,” the defense records say.

McCullaugh, 6-foot-2 and 306 pounds, according to autopsy evidence, died from sudden heart failure brought on by excited delirium from a psychotic condition for which he was no longer being treated, the defense contends.

One of the defense experts, renowned forensic pathologist Werner U. Spitz, will testify that McCullaugh ”died of a haywire heartbeat triggered by stress and agitation brought on by his psychotic condition, and further, that his heart could not stand the workload,” the records say.

Spitz, former chief medical examiner of Wayne and Macomb counties in Michigan and a professor of pathology at Wayne State University in Detroit, testified in the O.J. Simpson wrongful death trial and at congressional investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

Prosecutors’ exhibits

In all, prosecutors documented 215 exhibits of potential evidence against Krendick in their 33-page trial brief.

Those exhibits will show there was a violent struggle with the deputies in McCullaugh’s cell, and that during the struggle, the prosecution brief alleges, McCullaugh was beaten, stomped, kicked, placed in handcuffs and leg shackles in a ”hog-tying” position and then shot by Krendick with a Taser stun gun.

”Even after participating in the forceful restraint and hog-tying of McCullaugh, and after leaving the cell for between . . . 25 and 30 minutes, Krendick continued his assault on McCullaugh,” the trial brief says.

”Returning to the cell and finding McCullaugh subdued,” the brief says, ”Krendick expressed a desire to apply [pepper spray] to the prisoner.”

Krendick then sprayed an entire 16-ounce can of pepper spray ”across McCullaugh’s buttocks, back and back of his head,” the trial brief says.

After McCullaugh was shackled — but before being pepper-sprayed — those records also indicate that he was injected by a jail nurse with what was described as a ”two-drug cocktail” in a further effort to calm him down.

McCullaugh was pronounced dead at 7:46 that night at Akron General Medical Center.

Report challenged

Initially, Summit County Medical Examiner Lisa J. Kohler ruled the death a homicide.

That ruling was based on the autopsy findings of her chief assistant, forensic pathologist George Sterbenz, who determined that the cause of death was asphyxiation from multiple forms of restraint and blunt-force blows, including an unspecified anal injury.

But in a May 2 Summit County civil court ruling, visiting Judge Ted Schneiderman ordered Kohler to change the manner of death in McCullaugh’s autopsy report from ”homicide” to ”undetermined.”

Schneiderman’s order followed a four-day trial in which Kohler’s report was challenged by lawyers from Taser International Inc. and the city of Akron.

There was ”simply no medical, scientific or electrical evidence to support the conclusion that the Taser . . . . . . had anything to do” with McCullaugh’s death or with two other unrelated deaths involving confrontations with area police, Schneiderman said in his order.

Krendick’s lawyers subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the charges against all of the deputies, contending that Schneiderman’s ruling tainted the original evidence on which the grand jury indictments were based.

But Inderlied denied that motion, saying the indictments were ”not evidence” and ”nothing more than a charging document.”

Other testimony

University of Akron law professor J. Dean Carro, president of the Akron Bar Association, said the prosecution’s case for proving murder without an official finding of homicide is not necessarily more difficult.

”You can prove causation with other information,” Carro said. ”You don’t have to rely solely on the autopsy report.”

In what might be the most damaging evidence against Krendick, case records show, the prosecution will offer testimony from other deputies who told investigators they saw Krendick ”standing on the bunk stomping on McCullaugh’s head with his boot.”

One of those deputies, Keith Murray, ”said that Krendick stomped on McCullaugh’s head five or six times.”

Nevertheless, prosecutors said in their trial brief that, if they are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Krendick is guilty of murder, lesser charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault warrant consideration by the judge.

”What the state is saying there is: ‘We don’t know what the evidence is absolutely going to turn out to be,’ ” Carro said. ”The facts drive whether you get the lesser [charges] included.”

Assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutors John R. Kosko and Brian M. McDonough, who were appointed as special prosecutors, will handle the government’s case.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh asked Cuyahoga County to take the case last year to avoid possible conflicts of interest.