A second former officer at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola was charged Wednesday in Baton Rouge by federal prosecutors pursuing an alleged cover-up of an inmate beating.
Former Lt. Col. Jason Giroir, 35, was accused in a bill of information of falsifying an investigative report about the Jan. 24, 2010, incident.
Giroir, who could not be located for comment Wednesday, also is accused of lying to FBI agents who were investigating the alleged beating by prison officers of an inmate identified only as “R.M.”
“This investigation is continuing,” U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. said Wednesday. Cazayoux signed the bill of information, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Piedrahita and Justice Department Trial Attorney AeJean Cha.
Giroir falsely reported that he did not see another officer repeatedly strike “R.M.” with a baton, according to the charges. Giroir allegedly repeated that false statement in an interview with FBI agents.
In December, former Maj. Kevin L. Groom Sr., 45, pleaded guilty to charges that he falsified an investigative report and lied during an interview by FBI agents about the same incident.
Cazayoux said Wednesday the charges against both Groom and Giroir carry possible combined penalties totaling 25 years in prison and fines that could total $500,000.
In January, Cazayoux said “R.M.” attempted to escape from Angola, but surrendered to prison officials and was standing near a truck with his hands cuffed behind his back.
A high-ranking prison official “grabbed R.M.’s head and slammed it against the truck,” Cazayoux reported in January.
Prison officer “M.S.” then hit “R.M.” with a baton, and another officer, “C.B.” struck the inmate as he lay face down in the bed of the truck,” Cazayoux said. The two officers continued to beat “R.M.” during the truck drive to the prison’s medical unit, Cazayoux said.
Giroir’s case is assigned to U.S. District Judge James J. Brady, who also presides over Groom’s case.