A former Louisiana State Penitentiary guard has been convicted in Baton Rouge federal court of beating a handcuffed and shackled Angola inmate on a prison breezeway in 2014.

Ex-Angola Major Daniel Davis was previously found guilty of conspiring with several other corrections officers to cover up a separate brutal beating of the inmate at a prison tier by filing false reports, tampering with witnesses and lying under oath.

The prisoner suffered fractured ribs, a punctured lung, dislocated shoulder and other injuries. The breezeway and tier beatings occurred the same day.

Davis' latest conviction came Thursday at his third trial in the case. U.S. District Judge John deGravelles did not set a sentencing date.

"Mr. Davis maintains his innocence to this charge but nevertheless respects the jury's verdict," Andre Belanger, one of his attorneys, said Friday. "Moving forward, our defense now shifts towards representing him at sentencing."

Three other former Angola guards have pleaded guilty in the case. John Sanders and James Savoy, both of Marksville, and Scott Kennedy, of Beebe, Arkansas, have not been sentenced.

At his first trial in 2018, Davis, of Loranger, was found guilty of plotting to cover up the tier beating. The jury could not reach a verdict on whether Davis had taken part in an alleged beating on a prison breezeway. The judge declared a mistrial on that one count.

At a second trial before a different Baton Rouge jury, Davis was found guilty of that charge. But immediately after the verdict, deGravelles learned that the jury foreman had informed fellow jurors during the trial that Davis had been tried before and convicted on some counts and that the second trial was a retrial.

That information had not been disclosed to the jury during the trial.

The judge threw out the conviction based on the improper juror comments and granted Davis a new trial, which concluded Thursday with his conviction.

Sanders has admitted he punched the inmate repeatedly in the head in retaliation for an earlier incident. Savoy admitted failing to intervene when he witnessed other guards using excessive force against the inmate. Kennedy pleaded guilty to depriving the prisoner of the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and to conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Sanders, Savoy and Kennedy were captains at Angola.

Davis and Sanders had prior excessive force complaints filed against them, prosecutors have said, but Kennedy had a clean record at the time of the inmate’s beating. So Davis, Kennedy, Sanders and Savoy decided to falsely document that Kennedy was the only one who had used force on the inmate — believing internal affairs investigators would view allegations against Kennedy with less scrutiny, prosecutors said.

The inmate sued Davis, Kennedy, Sanders and Savoy after the incident, and the case was settled in 2016.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.