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Ex-Ala. prison sergeant sentenced to 5 years for assaulting inmate

The former Staton Correctional Facility sergeant was convicted by a jury of deprivation of rights under color of law, falsification of records and obstruction of justice

Staton Correctional Facility

Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County, Alabama. (Mike Cason/

Mike Cason/TNS

By Howard Koplowitz

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A former Alabama Department of Corrections sergeant was sentenced to more than five years in prison Wednesday for using excessive force on an inmate and then trying to cover up the beating, prosecutors said.

Devlon Williams, a 38-year-old former sergeant at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County, was convicted by a Montgomery federal court jury of deprivation of rights under color of law, falsification of records and obstruction of justice.

He was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release.

“This defendant was a sergeant who was supposed to set an example for those he supervised and instead he callously abused his authority and brutalized a vulnerable inmate during a time of need,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“The Justice Department will not tolerate this type of violent conduct inside our jails and prisons, and we will continue to prosecute corrections officials who violate the constitutional and civil rights of people in their custody. This sentencing should send a clear message to officials employed in correctional settings that they are not above the law and will be held accountable when they break it.”

Williams took a suicidal Staton inmate, only identified by the initials D.H., from the prison chapel to the facility’s healthcare unit, according to court documents and trial evidence.

Instead of taking the inmate to the infirmary, Williams stopped at the unit’s main hallway, where he assaulted and taunted the inmate by yelling, “since you want to die, I’m going to help you.”

Witnesses testified Williams repeatedly punched and kicked the inmate, who was lying on the ground in the fetal position and not resisting or posing a threat to anyone.

Williams then beat the inmate multiple times with a baton as another corrections officer, Larry Managan Jr ., also took part in the assault.

Williams and Managan tried to cover up their misconduct. Williams made false statements about the assault to an ADOC investigator and prepared a false report about the incident. He also pressured junior-ranking officers and eyewitness nurses to lie along with him.

Managan previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced for obstructing justice and testified against Williams at trial.

“While most members of law enforcement serve honorably and professionally, some are not so dedicated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross for the Middle District of Alabama. “Williams savagely beat and taunted an inmate who was not resisting and posed no threat, then they lied to conceal their crime. They must be held responsible for their actions. Failure to do so would discredit the noble service of every other officer and weaken the public’s trust in those who are sworn to protect.”

“Former corrections officer Devlon Williams not only attacked the victim while transporting him to receive critical care for suicidal ideation, but also attempted to cover up his crimes and intimidate witnesses,” added Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI remains committed to protecting the dignity and civil rights of individuals in custody, and we will investigate any law enforcement and corrections officers who abuse their authority.”

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