Friday, March 6, 2015

Attica’s Prosecutors Show Their Hand

A sergeant at Attica Correctional Facility involved in a savage beating of an inmate in the summer of 2011, brought home several batons after the episode, then sanded them down and refinished them, prosecutors said.
 
The sergeant, Sean Warner, 41, was one of three guards who pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor charges stemming from the August, 2011 episode in which a 29-year-old inmate named George Williams was beaten so badly that doctors had to insert a plate and six pins in one of his legs.
 
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors said in an interview, they intended to present testimony regarding the batons from a source close to Warner: his wife, Maxine, from whom he has been separated since a few months after the episode.
 
While laying out new details of what they said was a powerful case against the guards, the prosecutors defended their agreement to a plea deal that cost the men their jobs but included no jail time. District Attorney Donald G. O'Geen noted the burden of convincing “not just any jury,” but a jury in Wyoming County, where prison is the largest local industry and corrections officers are viewed as defenders of public order.
 
In a telephone interview from her home in New Hampshire, where she now lives with the couple’s two children, Sergeant Warner’s wife, 37, confirmed that she expected to testify for the prosecution. "After the incident, Sean brought home five or six batons and refinished them," she said.
 
 
 

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