A second former Louisiana State Penitentiary guard pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday in the brutal beating of a handcuffed and shackled Angola inmate and cover-up of the 2014 assault.
Ex-Capt. John Sanders, 32, of Marksville, pleaded guilty 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.
U.S. District Judge John deGravelles did not set a sentencing date.
Last fall, former Angola correctional officer Scotty Kennedy, 48, of Beebe, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to depriving the inmate of the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Kennedy has not been sentenced.
Three ex-Louisiana State Penitentiary guards indicted last fall in the alleged beating of a …
The inmate, identified Wednesday in Baton Rouge federal court only as J.S., suffered fractured ribs, a punctured lung, dislocated shoulder and other injuries in the January 2014 assault, Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Menner Jr. said in court.
Former Angola Maj. Daniel Davis, 40, of Loranger, and ex-Capt. James Savoy, of Marksville, also are charged in the case. They were indicted in November along with Sanders. Kennedy was charged separately by federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty the day before a federal grand jury in Baton Rouge indicted Davis, Savoy and Sanders.
Sanders' attorney, Mike Small, declined comment outside deGravelles' courtroom after his client pleaded guilty.
Former federal prosecutor Ian Hipwell, who represents Davis, was in the courtroom for Sanders' guilty pleas and said afterward that he and Davis are preparing for trial in January.
Sanders told the judge he worked at the Louisiana State Penitentiary for nine years.
The grand jury accused Sanders, Davis and Savoy of beating J.S. and plotting to cover up their misconduct by falsifying official records, lying in sworn statements and tampering with witnesses and physical evidence.
Davis, Sanders and Savoy, according to the indictment, falsely stated that they used reasonable force to get the inmate under control after he got out of his cell and fought with officers.
Three more former Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola guards were charged Wednesday in th…
The guards also instructed subordinates to clean up the inmates' blood before internal investigators could document it, falsified official prison reports and records, ordered subordinates to lie to internal affairs investigators and lied under oath in a federal civil proceeding that arose from the incident, the grand jury alleged.
Prosecutors accused Kennedy, who resigned in February 2014, of standing by while other correctional officers beat the inmate. He also was accused of conspiring to cover up what prosecutors have called an "unjustified assault" by making up a false story, falsifying prison records to corroborate the story, and tampering with witnesses and evidence.
Menner said in court Wednesday that Sanders and Davis had prior excessive force complaints filed against them, but Kennedy had a clean record. So Kennedy, Davis, Sanders and Savoy decided to falsely document that Kennedy was the only guard who used force on the inmate, believing that internal affairs investigators would view allegations against Kennedy with less scrutiny, the prosecutor said.