Yesterday the Department of Justice announced that the deputy warden of Macon State Prison and seven former prison officers have been indicted in the Middle District of Georgia on federal charges including civil rights violations, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. The charges follow previous guilty pleas by three other former Macon State Prison officers.
The charges in the case stem from events alleged to have occurred from October through December of 2010 at the prison, which is in Oglethorpe, Georgia. The government claims that on four separate dates, prisoners struck MSP officers and that the seven correctional officers—Kerry Bolden, Tyler Griffin, Christopher Hall, Ronald Lach Jr., Delton Rushin, Kadarius Thomas, and Derrick Wimbush, all members of the Correctional Emergency Response Team—then conspired to assault, threaten, and intimidate those prisoners, in violation of the Eight Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Specifically, the officers allegedly worked together to assault the prisoners, or failed to stop other officers’ assaults on the prisoners.
Obstruction of justice charges have also been brought against the seven former CERT officers, in addition to the MSP Deputy Warden James Hinton. The government alleges that the eight wrote or provided false reports of the incidents and then later provided false information to government investigators investigating the allegations.
Our federal criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing law enforcement officers charged with crimes, including charges of excessive force and civil rights violations. In fact, our firm won a federal criminal trial for a deputy charged with civil rights violations and obstruction in Middle Georgia a few years ago. We have also represented current and former law enforcement officials in other criminal matters in federal courts across Georgia.