An Angola penitentiary guard who admitted to beating a handcuffed convicted killer following a 2010 escape try was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday by a Baton Rouge federal judge.
Mark David Sharp, 32, was the third former corrections officer to admit to federal charges in the beating of Roy McLaughlin, of Baton Rouge. McLaughlin is serving a life sentence in the 1998 killing of his wife, Marianne.
The two other former officers at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola who’ve admitted to federal crimes are Kevin L. Groom Sr., 47, and Matthew Cody Butler, 29. The two former officers pleaded guilty previously to their roles in trying to cover up the beating.
Both were sentenced Thursday with Groom receiving a year of probation and a $500 fine and Butler receiving two years probation and a $3,000 fine.
“The vast majority of American law enforcement officers conduct themselves with honor,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta for the Civil Rights Division. “But when law enforcement officers abuse inmates and attempt to cover up their misconduct, the Department of Justice stands ready to hold those officers accountable for their conduct.”
Sharp had faced up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says McLaughlin tried to escape and shortly after the three men joined the search, he surrendered. The three officers were then taking McLaughlin to a medical facility in the back of a pickup when Sharp repeatedly beat the captured inmate with a baton.
Sharp pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of the inmate and to making false statements to the FBI. Groom pleaded guilty to falsifying records in a federal investigation and making false statements to the FBI. Butler pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony.
Another former officer, Jason Giroir, also pleaded guilty on May 29, 2013, to falsifying a report and making a false statement to the FBI. He will be sentenced on Jan. 29.
Sharp, a former captain at Angola, was sentenced in 2013 to three years in prison by a state district judge in St. Francisville following a conviction for felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He was arrested in 2011 after a 15-year-old girl who lived in the Angola employee housing area gave birth.