Angola Death Row

Death Row Angola Prison has a new Death Row with state of the art equipment and security system at Angola Prison in Angola, La. on March 3, 2009. View from the side of the front gate at Louisiana State Penitentiary AKA Angola Prison.

Mark Saltz

A then-Louisiana State Penitentiary guard took part in the brutal beating of a "thoroughly restrained" Angola inmate and masterminded a cover-up of the 2014 assault, a prosecutor told a Baton Rouge federal court jury Thursday.

Ex-Angola Maj. Daniel Davis, 41, of Loranger, is charged with deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to obstruct justice, falsifying reports in a federal investigation, tampering with a witness, and perjury.

"This case is about a serious crime and a serious cover-up," federal prosecutor Chris Perras said in his closing arguments to the jury.

One of Davis' attorneys, Andre Belanger, attacked the credibility of two former Angola corrections officers who previously pleaded guilty in the case and testified against Davis. The two men, Scotty Kennedy and John Sanders, have not yet been sentenced by U.S. District Judge John deGravelles.

"These people are auditioning for you and they're auditioning for Judge deGravelles," Belanger claimed in his closing arguments.

The jury will begin deliberating Davis' fate Friday morning.

The inmate, who was handcuffed and shackled during the January 2014 incident, suffered fractured ribs, a punctured lung, dislocated shoulder and other injuries, Perras said in court.

In all, three former Angola corrections officers have pleaded guilty in the case.

Ex-Capt. James Savoy, 39, of Marksville, admitted in November that he failed to intervene when he witnessed other guards using excessive force against the inmate. Savoy also admitted conspiring with other corrections officers to cover up the beating and personally falsifying official prison records to cover up the attack. He also has not yet been sentenced, but he did not testify in this week's trial.

Sanders, 32, a former captain from Marksville, pleaded guilty in September to deprivation of rights under color of law and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He admitted punching the inmate repeatedly in the head in retaliation for an earlier incident.

Kennedy, 49, of Beebe, Arkansas, was the first former Angola guard to be charged in the case. He pleaded guilty in 2016 to depriving the inmate of the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and to conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    

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