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Friday, February 5, 2010

CO- Sexual Assault Suspect Shot and Killed by Police

I cannot find any reason, in any version of this story, indicating why they killed him. It cannot be just because someone said "He will not go down alive," after all those are just words not actions.

3-11-2009 Colorado:

PUEBLO - A suspect wanted for two counts of sexual assault against a child has been shot and killed by police, concluding a manhunt in Pueblo that placed seven north side schools on lock-down Wednesday afternoon.

The Pueblo Sheriff's office is handling the investigation, since it involved two Pueblo Police Officers. Details about the shooting are still not being released, pending the investigation.

Police have confirmed the man shot and killed is 55-year old David Wiggs. Officers shot and killed Wiggs on the 4th street Bridge, near Erie on the east side of Pueblo around 4 p.m.

Sgt Eric Bravo with Pueblo Police tells NEWSCHANNEL 13 that the search for Wiggs began around 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, after an off-duty Florence Police Officer spotted him near the Safeway Grocery Store off 29th and Elizabeth.

Pueblo Police and Sheriff, along with the State Patrol conducted a search of the area. They took extra precaution while searching for Wiggs because he reportedly told family members and officers, "I will not go down alive," earlier in the day.

The search turned up a tent along Fountain Creek where Wiggs was believed to have been living for the last few days. K-9 units searched the creek bed on foot, and a police helicopter from Freemont County circled above the area throughout the afternoon.

Pueblo schools that were placed on lock-down status were Haaff Elementary, Irving Elementary, Morton Elementary, Somerlid Elementary, Freed Middle School, Heaton Middle School, and Centennial High School.

Students we spoke with say they were scared after an announcement was made on the intercom system. Bus services for those schools on lockdown were also stopped until D-60 got word about the suspect's death.

Dive Teams spent the night searching Fountain Creek near the shooting. Sgt Bravo won't says what investigators are looking for, but sources tell NEWSCHANNEL 13 that it could be a 9mm gun Wiggs apparently was carrying with him.

Teams called off the searched about 7:30 Wednesday night after temperatures dropped and the sun was setting. ..News Source.. by News

Thursday, February 4, 2010

OH- Man Stabbed to Death on West Harrison Street

8-25-2009 Ohio:

The city of Newark has recorded its second homicide of the year. The latest happened around 10:15 Monday night on West Harrison Street.

A disconnected 911 call alerted authorities to a problem at 59 West Harrison Street. When police arrived they found the many residents of the rooming house, but didn't see a victim.

"They did a very good job It would have been easy turn around and say well there's no disturbance, but they did an excellent job in continuing the call and locating the victim," says Sgt. Scott Snow, Newark Police Department.

After searching the house, 25-year-old John Stouffer was found stabbed to death in his room. For neighbor Donna Queen, whose boyfriend lives at the home the discovery was shocking.

"I was scared, because I live here by myself and I was scared. I mean that's too close to home," says Queen.

Neighbors say with people going to and from the house it's hard to tell if there's anything suspicious going on.

"Sometimes it's kind of scary because you don't know who's going in and out. There's always quite a bit of traffic. You don't know who lives there and who don't," says Queen.

Sgt. Snow says the public should not be worried, because they don't believe this was a random act of violence, they are interviewing multiple residents of the house.

"The investigators are kind of wading through the scene and wading through the evidence and they'll be doing extensive interviews with each resident," says Snow.

Neighbors say it's some of the homes residents they're concerned about.

Authorities say the victim Stouffer was a convicted sex offender who was arrested for propositioning a child.

Queen says several residents of the home are criminals and she'd like to see the buildings owner take action.

"For the owner to like know the person that's going to be renting there, to know their background, you know a little bit more about who she's letting rent there."

Licking County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1000 for information leading to the arrest of Stouffer's killer. If you have any information on the murder call the Newark Division of Police Detective Bureau at (740) 670-7215. ..Source.. by Kelly Gilmartin


4 Arrested In Stabbing Death

8-28-2009 Ohio:

NEWARK, Ohio — Four people were arrested Thursday in connection with a man's stabbing death in a rooming house.

Police were called to the home on West Harrison Street at about 10 p.m. Monday, 10TV News reported.

Residents at the home told the officers that nothing was wrong, but they searched the house as a precaution and found John Stouffer's body in an upstairs room.

He was stabbed several times and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested Beth Anne Doty, William Withem, William Snyder and Jason Stone in connection with the murder.

Stone, 20, was charged with murder. Doty, 29, Withem, 45, and Snyder, 33, were charged with complicity to murder.

All four people were expected to be arraigned on Friday. ..Source.. by 10TV News


5th Stabbing Suspect Held On $1M Bond

9-25-2009 Ohio:

A 5th suspect arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a Newark man is being held on a $1,000,0000 bond.

Licking County Municipal Court officials say the case of 20-year-old Nicholas Wallace will now go before a Licking County Grand Jury next week.

Newark Police Sgt. Scott Snow says Wallace was arrested Thursday afternoon around 4:30.

He's being charged with aggravated murder and tampering with evidence in the death of 25-year-old John Stouffer.

He's currently being held in the Licking County Justice Center.

Stouffer was found stabbed to death at a West Jefferson Street home in Newark on August 24.

Four other suspects, Jason Stone, William Snyder, William Withem and Beth Doty have all been charged in Stouffer's death and are being held in the Licking County Justice Center. ..Source.. by WHIZ News


Man Sentenced in Newark Murder.

12-18-2009 Ohio:

A 20-year-old Newark man will spend 18-years-to-life in prison in connection with an August murder.

Nicholas Wallace was sentenced Friday in Licking County Common Pleas Court on charges of murder, aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence in the stabbing death of 25-year-old John Stouffer on August 24 in Newark.

Four other co-defendants in the case have yet to go on trial. ..Source.. WHIZ News


Man gets 18 years to life in stabbing death

12-18-2009 Ohio:

NEWARK — A 20-year-old man, sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for his role in the stabbing death of a Newark man, addressed the court with regret and gratitude.

“Thank you very much for showing me some mercy,” Nicholas B. Wallace said at his sentencing Friday.

Wallace, last known address 33 S. Sixth St., pleaded no contest to aggravated murder and murder, both unclassified felonies, aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.

Licking County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Marcelain sentenced Wallace to 15 years to life for aggravated murder, which merged with the murder and aggravated burglary counts, and three years for the tampering with evidence charge. Wallace could have faced up to life in prison and a $55,000 fine, Marcelain said.

On Aug. 24, Newark police were called to a rooming house at 59 W. Harrison St. after reports of screams coming from John Stouffer’s room, Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston said.

Police found Stouffer, 25, dead on the floor after being stabbed 29 times, allegedly at the command of leaders of a “Death Demon” club, Huston said. The reported leaders have not been charged.

Wallace gave the weapon to co-defendant Jason Stone, who stabbed Stouffer multiple times after co-defendant William Snyder got Stouffer to open the door under the pretense of talking about Stouffer’s truck, Huston said.
Co-defendant Beth Doty, who believed she was pregnant with Stouffer’s child, solicited the “Death Demons” to “take care of him,” Huston said. William Withem, also charged in connection with the killing, drove his co-defendants to and from the crime scene, according to court records.
Wallace also burned blood-soaked clothing after the stabbing in an attempt to remove evidence, Huston said.

“He was a very young individual being influenced by people he should have known not to be influenced by,” said Wallace’s attorney, Matthew Dawson.

Wallace said had time to think about the events while in jail and expressed regret for not going to authorities at the first sign of trouble.

“No amount of apologies can end the pain or hurt this has caused his family,” Wallace said.

Wallace was the last of the five to be indicted in Stouffer’s stabbing death but the first to be sentenced. Wallace’s case was expedited because he did not ask for a competency hearing, admitted to his role and expressed remorse, Huston said.

“Mr. Wallace takes full responsibility for his actions,” Dawson said. ..Source.. by JESSIE BALMERT, Advocate Reporter


Attorney wants second evaluation for man charged in stabbing

1-6-2010 Ohio:

ARK -- The attorney for a 46-year-old man charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Newark man asked for a second assessment of his client's mental competency.

The first assessment declared him mentally retarded but fit to stand trial. Visiting Judge Jon Spahr accepted the reports that indicated William F. Withem, last known address 39 S. Sixth St., Newark, was able to understand his alleged actions were wrong and participate in court proceedings.

Withem's attorney, Diane Menashe, asked Spahr for an additional assessment because the report indicated her client is mentally retarded.

Withem has an IQ of 65, cannot read or write adequately and has records with the Department of Developmental Disabilities dating back to age 16, Menashe said.

"I have a real concern about his ability to retain information," she said.

Withem and his four co-defendants were charged with aggravated murder and murder, both unclassified felonies; and aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony.

On Aug. 26, Withem drove his co-defendants to a rooming house at 59 W. Harrison St., knowing a resident, John Stouffer, would be killed there, according to court records.

Withem drove a witness to buy cigarettes to get the man away from the scene, according to court records.

After reviewing Withem's mental-health records, Menashe wrote that she had grave concerns about Withem's ability to understand the nature and objectives of these proceedings and assist in his own defense.

One of Withem's co-defendants, Nicholas B. Wallace, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison in connection with Stouffer's death.

Co-defendants Jason C. Stone, Beth A. Doty and William C. Snyder were found competent to stand trial. Withem's attorney was the only one to ask for a second evaluation. ..Source.. by JESSIE BALMERT, Advocate Reporter


Woman Learns Fate In 'Death Demons' Stabbing

2-3-2010 Ohio:

NEWARK, Ohio — A woman was sentenced Wednesday after admitting her role in a fatal stabbing that was apparently linked to a cult called the Death Demons.

Beth Doty, 29, said she asked fellow members to kill her boyfriend, John Stouffer, in August, 10TV News reported.

Police found John Stouffer, 25, stabbed to death in a rooming house after someone reported screaming.

Doty received a 20-year prison sentence for her role in the slaying.

Three other men are awaiting trial in the case, while a fourth man is already serving 18 years to life in prison. ..Source.. by 10TV News


Woman Guilty of Murder

2-3-2010 Ohio:

A Newark woman will spend at least 20 years in prison for a murder last August.

Wednesday in Licking County Common Pleas Court 29-year-old Beth Doty pled guilty to one count of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated burglary.

Doty is believed to be the organizer of a group that stabbed 25-year-old John Stouffer to death August 24 on West Harrison Street in Newark.

Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston says Doty is 8 months pregnant and believes Stouffer is the child's father. Huston says Doty has another child that she does not have custody of and was concerned she would lose custody of her unborn child, because Stouffer was a convicted sex offender.

For her actions Judge Thomas Marcelain sentenced Doty to 20 years in prison before she has the possibility of parole.

In December, 20-year-old Nicholas Wallace was sentenced to 18-years-to-life in prison on charges related to Stouffer's death.

Other people believed to be involved in the crime 20-year-old Jason Stone, 34-year-old William Snyder and 46-year-old William Withem have yet to go on trial. ..Source.. by Kelly Mills

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Woman chops off head of alleged attacker

10-17-2008 India:

A woman, armed with a sickle, beheaded a man who allegedly tried to attack her and then paraded the head through a market in northern India, police said Friday.

Police arrested the woman late Thursday after receiving calls from frightened witnesses who reported a blood-soaked woman holding a severed head was walking through the village, said police officer Ram Bharose.

The woman, 35, told police she had gone to a nearby forest to cut grass for fodder for her cattle when a man attacked her from behind.

In a bid to save her dignity she beheaded him with a sickle,“ Bharose said, adding that the woman had bite marks on her neck and cheek.

The woman also told police that the man had been harassing and stalking her for three months and she had no regrets about killing him, he said, adding that she would probably be charged with culpable homicide.

The incident took place in Makkapurva village, some 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state. ..Source..

See also: Woman beheads alleged stalker after attack

Killing in jail decried, Friend of slain child porn suspect says a lawyer voiced safety fears, but sheriff's spokesman calls such warnings routine.

Inmates who beat JC have all been caught, tried and now in prison serving their sentences; see last article!
10-7-2006 California:

John Derek Chamberlain feared the inmates at Theo Lacy Facility in Orange knew he was in for child pornography charges, his longtime friend Dorothy Schell recalled Friday.

"You've got to talk to my attorney to get me out of here," Schell said Chamberlain told her from a jail phone on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid. I'm really afraid. They know. They know. I'm afraid something is going to happen to me."

He was right.

A group of inmates beat and kicked Chamberlain to death in a shower Thursday night, Orange County Sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

It's unclear as to whether the motive for the killing was linked to his pending criminal case, Amormino added. Chamberlain awaited trial on suspicion of two counts of possessing child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child through the unlawful duplication and exchange of photos, court documents state.

Chamberlain, 41, of Mission Viejo was arrested Sept. 14 on a misdemeanor charge of having child pornography with intent to sell. He pleaded not guilty Sept. 18, and his trial was scheduled for Oct. 24.

Had he been arrested three days later, Chamberlain could have faced felony charges under a new law made effective Sept. 21. The law now gives the District Attorney's Office the option of charging a felony or misdemeanor in such cases.

Chamberlain, a computer technician in Rancho Santa Margarita, awaited his trial in a section of the jail which houses only non-violent criminal offenders, Amormino said. He was in the shower with several other inmates about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when some of the inmates attacked him.

"They kicked him, they beat him while he was in the shower," Amormino said. "Then they dragged him to another location near his bunk and they beat him some more."

Chamberlain was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange where he was pronounced dead at 7:30 p.m.

"Not every move is being monitored," Amormino said. "They are being held for non-violent crimes. The guard isn't standing there watching them shower."

Schell believes, however, that jail officials could have done more to spare her friend's life. She said Chamberlain's attorney warned jail officials about the inmates to no avail.

She said officials should have moved Chamberlain.

"He should've never been there," Schell said.

Amormino said attorneys and family members of inmates routinely call, reporting their loved one in danger at the jail.

"We always look into it, these calls, investigate them, and if we determine the claims are true, we take appropriate action," Amormino said.

He couldn't comment on this specific case.

A total of 140 inmates were being held in that section of the jail at the time.

Investigators are interviewing the inmates to determine how many people were involved in the beating, Amormino said.

Dorothy Schell dated Chamberlain for nearly 14 years before they split a couple months ago. Chamberlain became physically abusive once in July, which was partly to blame for the breakup, according to Schell.

Chamberlain awaited trial on one count of domestic violence, court documents state.

Schell described Chamberlain as a "gentle" man who enjoyed dancing. He taught engaged couples how to waltz for their first dance.

Schell said it's hard for her to believe the child pornography charges.

"John was 41. John and I dated for 14 years and I'm almost 70," she added. "He was not convicted. He had not gone to court on this."

Even if the charges were true, he didn't deserve death, Schell said.

"I don't want this to happen to another person," she said.

"I want people to know that this could be your brother, your father, your son. When people kill someone like that they don't realize they don't just kill him. They kill the people who love him." ..more.. by CINDY CARCAMO and KIMBERLY EDDS


Inmate death probed: Supervisors want D.A.'s office to investigate killing of a man while deputy watched baseball on television.

4-6-2007 California:

Orange County lawmakers are questioning the credibility of a sheriff's investigation into the death of a jail inmate beaten while a deputy watched a Los Angeles Dodgers playoff game on television.

Chris Norby, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said the sheriff's department should have followed county policy and allowed the District Attorney's Office to conduct the investigation.

"It's to everybody's advantage for the district attorney to do it, so the investigation is as credible as possible," Norby said.

Sheriff's officials in past interviews said the vaguely worded county policy actually gives the sheriff's department the ability to investigate jail homicides if it chooses.

At least three county supervisors launched their own probes after a March 29 report in The Orange County Register that Deputy Kevin Taylor admitted watching television during the estimated 20-minute melee that killed John Derek Chamberlain. Six inmates have been charged in the Oct. 5 homicide, including one who alleged that Taylor instigated the attack with help from Deputy Jason Chapluk, according to investigation records.

County Supervisor John Moorlach said the television was gone when staff members from his office, as well as the office of board chairman Norby, toured the guard station at Theo Lacy facility in Orange last week.

"We viewed it as a form of spoliation (altering) of evidence," Moorlach said. "It made it difficult to confirm what he was watching. What was the angle? Why was a baseball game so captivating?"

A spokesman for the sheriff's department said deputies removed the television while cleaning the guard station the night before Friday's tour and neglected to return it.

"I know it was a surprise even to the captain and the chief who were there," said spokesman Ryan Burris. He said the television was returned, in time for a fact-finding tour Monday by staff members from the office of Supervisor Pat Bates.

Chamberlain, 41, was arrested on misdemeanor charges of possessing child pornography. Hours before his death, his attorney had asked that deputies consider moving Chamberlain to another location for fear of his safety. Taylor and Chapluk told investigators that they offered that day to move Chamberlain, but he declined.

Rumors soon spread that Chamberlain was in custody for molesting a child. Defendant Jared Petrovich, who allegedly orchestrated the beating, told sheriff's investigators that Taylor called him out of the barracks and then talked with Chapluk, loud enough to overhear, about Chamberlain being a child molester.

Chamberlain's father, George, has filed a $20 million dollar liability claim against the county, alleging that deputies instigated the attackon his son.

Supervisors are expected to consider the claim in a closed-door session April 17. ..more.. by TONY SAAVEDRA and RACHANEE SRISAVASDI


Inmates Charged In Death Of Alleged Child Molester

11-17-2006 California

(CBS) SANTA ANA Six current and former inmates at the Theo Lacy jail in Orange County were charged Friday with murder in connection with the beating death of a fellow inmate, according to the District Attorney's Office.

John Derek Chamberlain, 41, of Mission Viejo, was killed Oct. 5 at the jail, 501 The City Drive in Orange. Prosecutors said the six inmates targeted Chamberlain because they believed he was a child molester. Chamberlain was in custody on charges of possessing child pornography.

Chamberlain was beaten inside a jail cell. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sheriff's Department officials said it was the first homicide in an Orange County jail in 20 years.

Murder charges were filed against Garrett Eugene Aguilar, 23; Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 38; Michael Stewart Garten, 21; Eric Charles Miller, 21; Jared Louis Petrovich, 22; and Christopher Teague, 30.

Teague and Miller had since been released from custody, but Miller was re-arrested this afternoon. Teague was still being sought.

The men are all scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

Chamberlain was housed in a "dormitory" unit where all inmates are accused of "non-violent, low-level" crime, sheriff's officials said.

Chamberlain, who had no prior record, was arrested Sept. 14. Deputies had been called to Rancho Santa Margarita on a report of a man exposing himself, but the suspect was not exposing himself when deputies arrived, sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Instead, deputies saw beer cans and child pornography in his vehicle and arrested him for that, Amormino said. ..more.. by


CA- Orange County DA Releases Jail Death Inquiry

Here is the Orange County District Attorney's Office summary of its investigation into the slaying of John Derek Chamberlain. Chamberlain was beaten to death in Orange County Jail by other inmates, while deputies watched television. The DA investigation, even without the full cooperation of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, found several repeated failures of department policy.

4-7-2008 California:

SANTA ANA - Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (OCDA) announced today the release of The Investigative Report From The 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury Inquiry Into The Death Of John Derek Chamberlain and the following statement:


In the evening of September 14, 2006, John Derek Chamberlain was arrested on allegations of possession of child pornography and possession of an open container of alcohol. On October 3, 2006, Chamberlain was transferred to the Theo Lacy detention facility and assigned to "F" Barracks, West, a minimum security location. Two days later at 6:50 p.m., Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) deputies were summoned to a location within the barracks where they observed Chamberlain lying on the floor. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He had suffered numerous severe blunt force trauma injuries, including multiple rib fractures, which lead to respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.


"F" Barracks is divided into two equal halves, East and West, regularly staffed by two OCSD deputies and one Sheriff's Special Officer. The maximum occupancy of each half is 146 inmates. A guard station for the on-duty deputies is located between the halves. Each half of "F" Barracks has a central recreational day room. There are numerous "blind spots," or areas outside of open view.

In order to fulfill their duties, the OCSD deputies are required to regularly patrol the interior of the facility every 30 minutes on foot and observe the activities of the inmates. The purpose of these floor checks is to inspect "blind spots," discourage assaults and verify that no inmates are injured or in need of help.


In practice, some deputies regularly failed to perform their duties of securing the jail and the safety of its inmates. They seldom performed floor checks. The deputies instead largely remained in their guard station, where they were regularly seen watching television, full length movies, playing video games, browsing the Internet, chatting on-line, or sleeping with lights out. Even when awake at their guard station, some OCSD deputies would go as long as 30 minutes without even looking out the windows to scrutinize the barracks under their supervision.

When supervisors, with rankings such as sergeants or higher, walked through the facility, some deputies utilized a code called "10-12" to forewarn others of their approach. Some deputies made entries in the logs which could be interpreted that they had performed their regular patrols when in fact they had not.


The OCSD deputies at Theo Lacy substituted other methods than those prescribed by policy to control the inmates under their supervision. They routinely used inmates called "shot callers" to enforce discipline or inflict punishment on other prisoners. If deputies observed conduct on the part of an inmate which they considered a breach of the rules, they would summon the "shot callers" and instruct them to get these inmates "back in line." The deputies knew that if the inmate disregarded the "shot caller," the inmate would be assaulted or "taxed" by other inmates.

Some deputies developed methods, both positive and negative, to get the "shot callers" to do what they wanted. They gave "shot callers" extra privileges such as new uniforms, extra meals, extra hygiene products, and greater toleration or leeway if they broke the rules. Alternatively, the deputies would threaten "shot callers" with negative consequences, such as having their barracks "tossed" or their personal belongings and bedding thrown asunder if they failed to get the inmates under their authority "back in line."

The use of "shot callers" is against OCSD Policy which states, "Inmates will never be permitted to exercise control over other inmates," and "No inmate shall inflict punishment on another inmate." It is also against state law which prohibits investing inmates of penal institutions with the authority to exercise the right of punishment over other inmates.


Some OCSD deputies at Theo Lacy denied medical treatment to inmates in order to avoid having to write required reports, or "cut paper." They encouraged "shot callers" to discourage injured or sick inmates from seeking or making further requests for medical attention.


There were unspecified reports that one Theo Lacy deputy inflicted unauthorized discipline and punishment on inmates using less than lethal force. This deputy reportedly failed to notify his supervisor or document the use of force as required by OCSD Policy. On multiple occasions, for example, a "pepper ball" rifle was fired against inmates of "F" Barracks against Policy. These were for minor transgressions such as inmates not returning to their bunks "fast enough," leaving their bunks against orders, or becoming too loud. In further violation of OCSD Policy, no means of decontamination was provided or allowed to inmates affected by the "pepper ball" rounds.


Within penal institutions, inmates facing charges related to the sexual assault or abuse of children are often targeted for violent assault by other inmates. Some inmates make concerted efforts to learn the nature of fellow inmates' pending charges, including using OCSD's public information resources. OCSD was repeatedly made aware that its public information resources were being exploited for the purpose of targeting and assaulting inmates with pending child assault or abuse charges.

Public Internet access to certain inmate information ended in July 2006 at the time of John Chamberlain's incarceration. Information concerning an inmate's pending charges, location of incarceration, and bail status remains available, however, to anonymous phone callers upon request. In the days preceding Chamberlain's murder, OCSD received and fulfilled five to 10 anonymous calls requesting information of Chamberlain's pending charges.


During the hour from 5:50 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. on October 5, 2007, John Chamberlain was dragged by other inmates to a "blind spot" within the Theo Lacy "F" Barracks, where he was out of view of OCSD deputies in the guard station. He was beaten to death at that location by successive waves of inmates. Some of the inmates participating in the assaults made repeated trips back and forth from the bathroom to the scene of the assault carrying water to wash the crime scene. None were confronted or interrupted by on-duty OCSD deputies. The deputies remained in the guard station, one reportedly watching television.

No deputy had patrolled the floor of the "F" Barracks, West, where the murder had taken place for a period of at least five hours before Chamberlain's body was found. Nevertheless, the nearby work station log had the entries, "barracks secure," for 6:00 p.m. and "barracks secure, no problems," for 6:30 p.m. After Chamberlain's body was found at 6:50 p.m., OCSD personnel retroactively entered into the log that at 2:30 p.m. Chamberlain had told deputies that he had not been in fear of his life.

Although OCSD was alerted to the fact that the presence of a television in the guard station may constitute a distraction to deputies on duty and may have contributed to the circumstances leading to the murder of Chamberlain, the television was not removed until six months after the murder.


Subsequent to the discovery of Chamberlain's body, OCSD personnel prevented the OCDA from conducting an independent homicide investigation into the murder of Chamberlain. This was in violation of existing County protocol and historical precedent. When the sitting 2006-2007 Grand Jury requested information on this protocol, there was evidence that one OCSD official provided it with inaccurate information regarding the investigation of previous custodial deaths.


At the request of the District Attorney, the Orange County Superior Court convened a 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury to investigate the murder of John Chamberlain and the circumstances surrounding the OCSD's investigation of that murder. Some OCSD witnesses gave testimony that mischaracterized the protocol and history of custodial death investigations.


In addition, after testifying before the 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury, some OCSD personnel violated the secrecy rules governing Grand Jury investigations by disclosing to other OCSD personnel the substance of their testimony, the nature of the questions they had been asked, and the evidence shown to them. These same individuals then knowingly testified falsely before the 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury concerning their violations of Grand Jury rules.


OCSD records subpoenaed by the Special Grand Jury were either not produced, produced in redacted form or produced by unqualified witnesses. This had the effect of substantially delaying the Grand Jury's progress.


This report establishes that the murder of John Chamberlain may have been prevented if existing policies and procedures had been followed and enforced. Our system of justice requires that those accused of crime be afforded due process and justice not only by the court, but by those charged with maintaining them in custody.

The Office of Internal Review (OIR) and an impartial civilian monitor will help monitor and oversee the investigation and evaluation of complaints involving the OCSD.

This Report is merely a beginning to open an informed dialogue over how the County may avoid another such death in the future. Over the next several months, the OCDA will facilitate this dialogue and work with concerned parties to develop additional reforms. ..Source..

Original Investigative Report: From the 2007 Special Criminal Grand Jury Inquiry into the Death of John Derek Chamberlain


Two plead guilty in beating death of inmate

1-19-2011 California:

SANTA ANA – Two of nine jail inmates charged in the beating death of a fellow inmate wrongly identified as a child molester pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter and were each sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

The October 2006 slaying of John Chamberlain, who was in jail on possession of child pornography charges, prompted an investigative report by The Orange County Register that revealed that one of the charged inmates accused a jail deputy of setting up the attack.

It also led to a special Orange County Grand Jury probe. In April 2008, grand jury transcripts were released that revealed widespread negligence by guards at Sheriff's Department jails. No jail officials were charged in connection with Chamberlain's death.

On Tuesday, inmates Christopher Teague, 34, of Long Beach, and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 27, of Corona, pleaded guilty to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter and were sentenced to 15 years.

They are the second and third inmates to plead guilty in the death of Chamberlain.

Last week, inmate Michael Garten, 25, became the first of the nine accused inmates to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter pursuant to a plea offer from the Orange County District Attorney's Office. He also pleaded guilty to felony extortion in a separate case, and a probation violation, and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

Teague and Coleman were involved only in the initial stages of the attack on Chamberlain, which lasted about 45 minutes, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said.

After credit for time already served, Teague could be out of prison in about 7 to 8 years, Baytieh said. Culmann will serve 85 percent of his sentence.

Teague was involved in the first 10 seconds of the attack, beating Chamberlain from the neck to the waist, Baytieh said.

Culmann landed two punches on Chamberlain, Baytieh said.

Two more defendants are expected to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter before a trial starts on Feb. 18, Baytieh said – leaving four to stand trial on murder charges.

"Most of these guys, based on their records, wouldn't be involved in a homicide," Baytieh said. "In this case, they dehumanized the victim and felt that it was acceptable to beat him to death. They created that environment within the jail."

The other inmates charged in the case are Garrett Eugene Aguilar, 28, of Anaheim; Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 42, of Anaheim; Eric Charles Miller, 25, of Huntington Beach; Jared Louis Petrovich, 26, of Tustin; Raul Villafana, 24, of Santa Ana; and Miguel Angel Guillen, 48; of Santa Ana.

Investigators believe that the group targeted Chamberlain on Oct. 5, 2006 under the mistaken belief that he was a child molester, the worst kind of person in the inmate culture. In fact, Chamberlain was accused of possessing child pornography.

The group attacked Chamberlain in a cell in the Theo Lacey jail and repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped him, prosecutors say.

Chamberlain was found bleeding, battered and unconscious, and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

In March 2007, The Orange County Register published a report detailing how at least one inmate – Petrovich – accused jail Deputy Kevin Taylor of instigating the attack by falsely identifying Chamberlain as a child molester. Taylor, who is no longer with the sheriff's department, denied the allegation.

The Register also reported that Taylor told investigators he was watching television in a nearby guard station when the mob of inmates allegedly beat Chamberlain to death. ..Source.. by GREG HARDESTY and ANDREW GALVIN


Inmates get 15 years in jail-beating death

1-27-2012 California:

SANTA ANA – An Orange County judge Friday sentenced two more of the five inmates convicted of beating another prisoner to death to 15 years to life in prison.

While family members and supporters of defendants Garret Eugene Aguilar, 29, of Anaheim and Jared Louis Petrovich, 28, of Tustin were present for the sentencing, no one from victim John Chamberlain's family was at the hearing.

Aguilar and Petrovich were among five inmates who were convicted last year in the Oct. 5, 2006, slaying of Chamberlain, 41, at Theo Lacy Facility, a county jail.

Prosecutors said they and other inmates targeted Chamberlain because they believed he was a child molester. Chamberlain had been awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography.

He was punched, kicked and stomped on and eventually lost consciousness. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The beating, which triggered several investigations, occurred about 68 feet from where one Orange County sheriff's deputy admitted he was watching "COPS" on television and was dogged by allegations – that were never proven – that deputies helped set up the attack.

"Whether a deputy sheriff was involved in instigating the incident or not, it is not an excuse for beating a guy to death," Superior Court Judge James Stotler said at the sentencing.

He called the defendants' actions "awful," asking Aguilar and Petrovich to reflect on the direction of their lives.

"There were decisions made on that day when Mr. Chamberlain was killed that simply defy reason," Stotler said.

Following the sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said the defendants tried to shift the blame to jailhouse deputies.

"(Their attorneys were) anxious to talk about the deputies and how deputies had caused the death of Chamberlain, pointing the finger at everybody but their clients," he said. "Today the truth prevailed ... The ones that killed Chamberlain are the defendants we brought to court and the other inmates."

Last month, Miguel Guillen, 49, of Santa Ana was the first to be sentenced after an Orange County jury earlier in the year found him, Aguilar, Petrovich, Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 43, of Anaheim and Raul Villafana, 25, of Santa Ana guilty of the attack.

"Hopefully this will bring everybody closure," Petrovich's attorney Keith Davidson said after the Friday hearing.

Carlstrom and Villafana will be sentenced in February and April respectively; each faces 15 years to life in prison.

Three other inmates charged in the slaying have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and a fourth is expected to do so.

Michael Stewart Garten, 26, of Santa Ana was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Christopher Teague, 35, of Long Beach and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 28, of Corona were each sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Another co-defendant, Eric Charles Miller, 26, of Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Stotler, the judge, concluded the hearing by repeating to Aguilar the words he said he heard a preacher say in a movie: "'It is not what you've done in the past, it is what you are now.' End of story." ..Source.. by VIK JOLLY / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER


Inmate sentenced in notorious O.C. jail beating death

3-21-2012 California:

An inmate in an Orange County jail was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years to life in prison for his role in the fatal gang beating and sexual assault of a fellow inmate who prisoners had incorrectly identified as a child molester, Orange County prosecutors said.

Stephen Paul Carlstron, 44, had been found guilty last year of second-degree murder for the October 2006 death of John Chamberlain, who was in custody at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange on misdemeanor charges of possessing child pornography, prosecutors said.

The case had a broader significance, as it was part of allegations of rampant abuse in Orange County jails. According to grand jury testimony obtained by The Times, Chamberlain was brutally attacked while the nearest guard watched television and sent personal text messages. It wasn't until an inmate stood in front of the guard station, waving his arms, that deputies realized something was wrong.

Prosecutors said Carlstrom was dispatched by a so-called "shot-caller" in a white prison gang to confront Chamberlain and find out why he was incarcerated.

Carlstrom reported back to the shot-caller, identified as Jared Louis Petrovich, who decided with a shot-caller for a Latino gang in the jail that Chamberlain should be attacked, prosecutors said.

Petrovich and Raul Villafana, the leader for the Latino gang, offered 10 commissary items to any inmate that joined in the beating, prosecutors said.
And on Oct. 5, 2006, prosecutors said, Carlstrom and another inmate, Garrett Eugene Aguilar, led Chamberlain into a tucked-away area of the barracks, where he was pummeled, kicked and stomped on, as well as sexually assaulted, by a number of other inmates.

Chamberlain was later taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. His ribs were broken in 43 places and he had fractures and contusions all over his body, according to prosecutors. A doctor testified that every one of his organs had been injured in the attack.

Carlstrom is the eighth defendant to be sentenced in the killing. Villafana, 25, was sentenced to 15 years to life for his role in the killing, as were Petrovich, 28, and Aguilar, 30 -- all of whom were found guilty of one count of second-degree murder.

Miguel Guillen, 49, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years to life because of two previous convictions for assault with deadly weapon.

Micheal Stewart Garten, 26, was sentenced to 20 years for one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. Christopher Teague, 35, and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 28, were each sentenced to 15 years in state prison on a felony count of voluntary manslaughter.

An additional inmate, Eric Charles Miller, 26, has been charged with murder but has not yet been tried. ..Source.. by L.A. NOW Home


Huntington Beach man sentenced to six years in fatal jail beating

4-26-2012 California:

SANTA ANA - A Huntington Beach man pleaded guilty today to voluntary manslaughter and was immediately sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the fatal jail beating of an Orange County inmate attacked in the mistaken belief that he was a child molester.

Eric Charles Miller, 26, is the last of the nine defendants to be convicted or plead guilty in the Oct. 5, 2006, beating death of John Chamberlain in the Theo Lacy branch jail in Orange.

Miller, who cooperated with authorities from the beginning of the investigation, was sentenced by Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler.

Miller was credited for more than six years behind bars, so he likely will be released from custody by tonight, said attorney Frank Davis of the Alternate Defender's Office.

Miller hit Chamberlain a few times during the mass beating, Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said.

"I believe the sentence he received is fair because he cooperated from day one," the prosecutor said. "He laid out his involvement and the other people's involvement."

Baytieh said Miller was "very useful" to investigators as they tried to figure out who was involved in Chamberlain's death. Chamberlain's attackers believed he was locked up for child molestation, but his arrest was on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of child pornography.

Davis said his client "felt horrible" about his involvement in Chamberlain's death. "His attitude was, 'Whatever I can do to fix it and learn from my mistakes.'"

Miller, whose nickname in jail was Stuart Little because of his physical stature, was ordered by a shot caller to participate in the attack while serving 90 days on a drug possession conviction, Davis said. He said his client only had two weeks to serve when Chamberlain was killed.

Convicted last Oct. 25 of second-degree murder were Garret Eugene Aguilar, 30, of Anaheim; Jared Louis Petrovich, 28, of Tustin; Miguel Angel Guillen, 49, of Santa Ana; Raul Villafana, 25, of Santa Ana; and Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 44, of Anaheim.

Villafana, Carlstrom, Aguilar and Petrovich were sentenced to 15 years to life in prison and Guillen was sentenced to 20 years to life because he had prior strikes, Baytieh said.

Three other men -- Michael Stewart Garten, 26, of Santa Ana; Christopher Teague, 35, of Long BeachZZPT; and Jeremy Dezso Culmann, 28, of Corona -- pleaded guilty in January 2011 to voluntary manslaughter.

Garten was sentenced to 11 years in prison but will serve a 20-year term because of additional convictions for extortion and drug-related crimes. Teague and Culmann each got 15 years.

A grand jury probe concluded that the beating death grew out of an institutionalized culture that allowed inmates to run the jails while deputies watched television and slept at times. A jailer was accused of watching "Cops" and text-messaging during the beating, about 65 feet away from a "blind spot" at the jail.

Prosecutors issued a scathing report on how the jails are run after the beating, but never charged any of the guards. ..Source.. by Paul Anderson, City News Service


Eric Miller Sentenced to Six Years For John Chamberlain Murder

The last of the nine former Theo Lacy Jail inmates charged in the Oct. 5, 2006 murder of John Chmaberlain, a fellow prisoner suspected of being a child molester, has been sentenced to prison. Miller, 26, of Huntington Beach, received a punishment of six years in state prison for his role in the murder, which involved dozens of inmates and lasted for up to 45 minutes while guards watched television and texted their girlfriends in a nearby guard tower.

Unlike six other co-defendants who received prison sentences of at least 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder, Miller was only charged with voluntary manslaughter.

Inmates took turns punching, kicking and stomping on Chamberlain, and at some point, his attackers anally penetrated him with a plastic spoon and a tube of toothpaste. Sources familiar with the case including inmates at the jail when the crime occurred described Miller, a diminutive figure behind bars for drunk driving, as having been heavily medicated when the attack took place. He reportedly broke his arm during the attack.

In interviews with detectives in the hours after the attack, the defendants first claimed not to have been involved and later tried to assert that there was never any plan to murder Chamberlain, and that such beatings were routine events that took place with full knowledge of guards. Only prisoners were charged in the crime, but a jail guard, Kevin Taylor, implicated in the rumor that led to Chamberlain's death, lost his job, as did several high-level officials involved in oversight at Theo Lacy. ..Source.. by Nick Schou

WVa inmate charged with killing fellow prisoner

The second and third news stories explain more about the violent nature of Joshua Welty Whitehair. However, why the prosecutor charged him with "premeditated murder" makes us wonder if there is even more to this case which is not part of the news articles.
9-22-2009 West Virginia:

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) -- An inmate at the North Central Regional Jail has been charged with killing another prisoner.

State Police charged 21-year-Joshua Welty Whitehair of Morgantown with premeditated murder on Monday.

Whitehair is accused of killing 43-year-old Darryl Eugene Burton on Sept. 15 after the two men argued while eating breakfast in a common area.

According to the criminal complaint, Whitehair punched and kicked Burton several times and then pushed him backward. Burton fell and hit his head on a block wall.

A state medical examiner determined that Burton died from head injuries.

Burton was serving 10 to 20 years on a child sexual abuse conviction in Harrison County. Whitehair is serving one to five years on an unlawful assault conviction. ..Source.. by Charlston Daily Main

UPDATE: State Police: Inmate Died From Head Injuries

9-17-2009 West Virginia:

GREENWOOD -- A North Central Regional Jail inmate died from head injuries, investigators say.

Darryl Burton, 43, of Clarksburg, died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, after getting into a fight with Joshua Whitehair, 21, of Morgantown, according to Corporal Mark Waggamon of the West Virginia State Police.

The West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner completed Burton's autopsy today, Waggamon says.

The fight happened just after 6:30 Tuesday morning in section F8 of the jail, according to Waggamon.

Waggamon will meet with Doddridge County Prosecuting Attorney Brooke Fitzgerald Friday to discuss the charges Whitehair will face.

Whitehair was in the jail on charges of malicious assault, unlawful assault, and probation violation, according to State Police Sergeant Michael Baylous.

Morgantown Police arrested Whitehair last October for allegedly stabbing his mother in the side after an argument.

At the time of that arrest, officers said Whitehair was already on probation on a different malicious wounding charge.

Burton was sentenced to ten to twenty years in March for sexual abuse by parent, guardian, or custodian, according to Joe Thornton, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, and wouldn't have been eligible for parole until October 26, 2018.

Thornton's department is also conducting an internal investigation to look into how the jail handled the incident.

"When you're in a jail situation, inmates will be around each other," Thornton says. "It's virtually impossible to prevent any kind of altercation." ..Source.. by Jessika Lewis (See Comments following story on that site)

Police: W.Va. man stabs mother, asks her to follow him so he could bury her

10-29-2008 West Virginia:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A West Virginia man is accused of stabbing his mother, then asking her to follow him into the woods so he could bury her if she died.

Fifty-seven-year-old Lilly May Whitehair survived the Oct. 15 attack. Her son, 20-year-old Joshua Welty Whitehair was in court Monday, charged with malicious wounding.

Monongalia County Sheriff's Deputy N.C. DeMedici says Whitehair got into an argument with his mother after coming home irate over a situation with his girlfriend.

DeMedici says Whitehair hit his mother on the head with a bottle of O'Doul's nonalcoholic beer, then punctured one of her lungs with a nearly 7-inch kitchen knife.

After trying to get his mother to follow him into the woods, Whitehair apologized and professed his love for her. ..Source.. by

FL- Franklin inmate stabbed to death

9-22-2009 Florida:

CARABELLE - A 43-year-old convicted sex offender was stabbed to death in his cell early Monday morning at Franklin Correctional Institution.

Nathaniel Taylor died from wounds inflicted by a shank, a homemade weapon, while he was in his cell around 4:55 a.m., according to officials.

The alleged perpetrator is his cellmate Christopher Lunz, 41, who is serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder committed in Pinellas County in March 2003.

Lunz is also believed to have stabbed a second inmate this morning, although his wounds were not life-threatening. Prison officials declined to release the second victim’s name because of medical privacy regulations.

Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections, said the second victim was not a cellmate of Lunz’s.

“Because it just happened this morning, we’re still investigating, but some details are blurry at this point,” she said.

Plessinger said a captain approached Lunz after the stabbing, talked him out of the weapon and got control of the situation. The facility, located just outside Carrabelle, then went into restricted movement status.

According to authorities, Taylor was convicted in March 1996 in Volusia County on two sex-related offenses: lewd and lascivious assault on a child under age 16, and coercion of a sex act on a child by an adult.

He served about 7 1/2 years for the crimes, and was released in December 2003. Taylor returned to prison in June 2006 after violating his parole and was expected to be incarcerated until September 2016. ..Source.. by DAVID ADLERSTEIN / Florida Freedom Newspapers

Pinellas murderer commits suicide after fatally stabbing cellmate

NEW PORT RICHEY - If taken at his word, Christopher Lunz wanted to die.

After being convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of his father, Lunz begged a Pinellas County jury to sentence him to death in 2006. Instead, jurors recommended life in prison.

But Lunz, 41, made good on his death wish today, killing himself inside Florida State Prison in Raiford. His suicide came roughly 30 hours after he stabbed his cellmate to death and injured a second inmate while at Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle, authorities say.

Lunz had been housed at Franklin since August 2006. He was only taken to the more secure Raiford facility after prison officials found convicted child molester Nathaniel Taylor dead Monday morning in the cell he shared with Lunz.

Taylor, 46, was serving time for violating parole on convictions out of Volusia County. He was scheduled to be released in 2016.

Prison officers opened cell doors at 4:55 a.m. Monday and immediately heard Lunz say he had a hostage and warn officers to stay back, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. An officer talked Lunz into surrendering a shank and noticed Taylor's body.

Officials did not identify the injured inmate but said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Plessinger said she didn't know how Lunz made the shank or the manner of his suicide.

"The details are all pretty sketchy until the investigation gets a little further along," she said.

Lunz and co-defendant William Westerman were charged with first-degree murder in 2005. Authorities said the men drove from their home in North Carolina to Palm Harbor in March 2003 to kill 56-year-old David Lunz. Investigators said Christopher Lunz wanted his father dead so he could inherit his estate, which was valued at nearly $400,000.

The case made headlines when it went to trial in June 2006, partly because Lunz acted as his own attorney for most of the proceedings. Westerman made a deal with prosecutors and testified against his former mentor and roommate, admitting that he shot David Lunz but saying he did so on Christopher Lunz's orders.

Westerman, 29, is serving a 30-year sentence.

Lunz brimmed with confidence during his trial, even planning a press conference to announce what he thought would be a not guilty verdict. It wasn't to be. His dream of vindication shattered, Lunz pleaded for a death sentence during the trial's penalty phase.

"I don't mind," he testified. "I'm not too happy. I'm 38 years old, and I've never been in love, never been on a date."

He also testified that his father was killed for raping him as a child and beating his mother. Lunz called himself a serial killer and said he had killed more than 20 other men who had raped children.

The jury still refused to recommend death.

"I should have known better," Lunz said after he received the life sentence. "I should have known if you ask for death, they give you life." ..Source.. by TODD LESKANIC | The Tampa Tribune

SC inmate fatally stabbed in max security prison

1-2-2010 South Carolina:

McCORMICK, S.C. (AP) - A prisoner has been stabbed to death by a fellow inmate at a maximum security prison in South Carolina.

Authorities say 26-year-old Lamont Perry was attacked around 7:30 a.m. Saturday in a dormitory at the McCormick Correctional Institution and died a short time later.

Perry had spent more than four years behind bars on a 15-year sentence for second-degree criminal sexual conduct out of Dorchester County.

Prison officials say they are investigating the incident with the State Law Enforcement Division and didn't release the name of the inmate suspected of stabbing Perry. ..Source..

Accused Rapist Lynched in Bolivia

2-2-2010 Bolivia:

LA PAZ – An 18-year-old man accused of rape was lynched by a mob in the central Bolivian city of Quillacollo, police said.

Emigio Negrete was attacked by the mob around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, the FELCC law enforcement agency’s commander in Cochabamba province, Col. Carlos Quiroga, told Efe.

About 40 people grabbed Negrete, tied him to an electric pole and beat him for allegedly raping a woman.

FELCC officers managed to rescue the teenager and take him to a hospital, where he died a few hours later, Quiroga said.

Lynchings are common in Bolivia, especially in the Andean region, because of a lack of confidence in the police or an absence of authorities.

Residents of some communities hang dolls from light poles as a warning to criminals.

Some groups say lynchings are an example of the “community justice” traditionally meted out in Indian communities that exist on the margins of state institutions.

President Evo Morales’s administration has condemned lynchings even though it promoted the institutionalization of community justice in the constitution that took effect in February 2009. EFE ..Source..

Monday, February 1, 2010

Inmate charged with murdering fellow inmate

1-26-2010 Georgia:

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Authorities have now charged a Valdosta State Prison inmate with murdering a fellow inmate.

Anthony Rogers is accused of killing John W Arnett last Wednesday night (1-20-2010) at the Prison.

Rogers is already serving a life sentence for a 1997 Murder in Savannah.

Arnett was serving time for Child Molestation in Appling and Bartow Counties.

Arnett was found Thursday morning and later pronounced dead at South Georgia Medical Center.

The Corrections Department did not release details on how Arnett was killed. ..Source.. by WALB News


Convicted child molester strangled in prison

1-26-2010 Georgia:

A 27-year-old Valdosta State Prison inmate was strangled to death, according to the Lowndes County coroner.

John Arnett, who was convicted of child molestation in both Bartow and Appling counties, was found in his cell last Thursday. The cause of death was manual strangulation, according to Coroner Bill Watson.

Arnett's sentence began last July, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

An inmate already serving time for a previous murder conviction has been accused in Arnett's death. Anthony Rogers has been in jail since October 1998 following his conviction for murder in the Savannah area.

Arnett is at least the third state inmate to die in recent weeks.

On Jan. 1, guards at the state prison in Jackson found 35-year-old Leeland Mark Braley hanging in his cell. Prison officials say Braley, sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of a Zebulon insurance agent, apparently took his own life.

Timothy Pruitt's death more than three weeks earlier was ruled an "alleged suicide," though his death remains under investigation. ..Source.. by Alexis Stevens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution