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2 guards at Greenville, IL, prison charged in beating of inmate

2 guards at Greenville prison charged in beating of inmate


Two guards at a federal prison here were arraigned Monday on federal charges that they assaulted an inmate in his cell using fists and handcuffs nearly two years ago, then tried to cover it up.

A federal grand jury returned the indictment Thursday, and it was unsealed Monday. Daniel Gordon and Eric Newsome are charged with conspiring to violate the inmate's civil rights and with filing false reports afterward. Newsome also is charged with lying to a special agent of the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General.

During a brief court appearance in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, Gordon and Newsome were ordered released on their own recognizance. Court records did not indicate whether they were represented by attorneys, and a court clerk said she did not have that information.

There were no listed telephone numbers for Gordon or Newsome in Greenville or the surrounding area.

The count alleging the filing of a false report carries a possible 20-year prison term. The other charges are punishable by up to 10 years behind bars.

The indictment says Newsome, Gordon and an "unindicted co-conspirator" approached John Clark's cell, ostensibly to transfer him to another cell at the prison, which is about 50 miles east of St. Louis along Interstate 70.

Newsome and the unidentified person, at Gordon's request, positioned their bodies to block the views of surveillance cameras to prevent them from recording Gordon's activities at Clark's cell door, the indictment alleges.

Gordon faked that he was handcuffing Clark through a food port in the cell, then entered the cell with Newsome and the other person, according to the indictment.

Newsome, with Gordon's help, hit Clark repeatedly with his fists and handcuffs, landing "an additional unjustified blow to John Clark after John Clark was handcuffed," the indictment reads.

Newsome and Gordon, aware Clark was injured and bleeding, then left the inmate handcuffed on the cell floor, closed the door and locked it behind them, according to the indictment.

Newsome and Gordon later filed false reports to an operations lieutenant, the indictment alleges. On Oct. 7, 2004, grand jurors found, Newsome told a federal inspector general that "he did not know how John Clark received his injuries, knowing those statements to be false."

A spokeswoman at the prison said she did not have any details about the matter, including the employment status of Gordon and Newsome.

The Greenville prison is a medium-security site housing 1,105 men, with an adjacent, minimum-security prison camp([search]) occupied by 348 women, U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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