Fmr. AL corrections officer pleads guilty to obstruction of just - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Fmr. AL corrections officer pleads guilty to obstruction of justice in inmate beating death case

The Justice Department announced Monday that Joseph Sanders, 32, a former corrections officer of the Alabama Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in an investigation into the beating death of former inmate Rocrast Mack.   

On August 4, 2010, 24-year-old Rocrast Mack was beaten by several corrections officers at Ventress Correctional Facility in Clayton, Alabama.  He was repeatedly struck by a baton in an office in the prison, and several minutes later he was assaulted again in the medical unit of the prison when an officer stomped on Mack's head several times.  Mack died the following day in a Montgomery, Ala., hospital.  Following Mack's death, Sanders lied to investigators from the Department of Corrections to cover up the fact that Mack was unjustly and brutally beaten.   

Two weeks ago, on June 25, a federal jury convicted Michael Smith, a former lieutenant at Ventress, of civil rights and obstruction of justice violations regarding this incident.  Scottie Glenn, another former corrections officer at Ventress, pleaded guilty on Nov.18, 2011, to one count of violating the civil rights of Mack for his role in the incident and to one count of conspiring with other corrections officers to cover up the beatings.  Matthew Davidson, another former corrections officer, pleaded guilty on Jan. 15, 2013, to two civil rights violations and one count of conspiring with other officers to cover up the beatings.   

Sentencing for all of the defendants is scheduled for September 23, 2013.  Sanders faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. 

"Mr. Sanders, by his statements, attempted to conceal that Rocrast Mack's brutal death was unjustly caused by the corrections officers to whose care he had been entrusted," said Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Roy L. Austin Jr. "Such actions have no place in our corrections system and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit and cover up such crimes." 

"Correction officers have an incredibly difficult job.  Most perform their job ethically, without abusing the inmates," said U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, George L. Beck, Jr.  "However, these officers allowed a restrained man to be savagely beaten and stomped and then tried to cover it up.  There is no excuse for such behavior.  Hopefully, this plea will bring the Mack family some peace in knowing that no one is above the law." 

"This investigation represents the FBI's unwavering commitment to protect all citizens from those who violate and abuse their positions of trust," stated Stephen F. Richardson, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Mobile Division.  "Public servants are bound by their oath to serve and protect our communities and any violation of a person's civil rights will be met with severe consequences." 

This case was investigated by the Mobile, Ala., Division of the FBI, in partnership with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Patricia Sumner of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerusha Adams of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama.

INFORMATION SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Justice Release

  • NewsMore>>

  • Ireland referendum could lift strict ban on abortion

    Ireland referendum could lift strict ban on abortion

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-05-25 22:18:34 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:42 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:42:29 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 6:18 PM EDT2018-05-25 22:18:05 GMT
    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>
  • Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:22:51 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 6:17 PM EDT2018-05-25 22:17:33 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly