A 73-year-old man was found guilty of child ra-e, child molestation, and possession of child po-nography and sentenced to 43 years in prison, but little did he know he would end up in the same cell as the older brother of one of his victims.
Robert, the child abuser, was placed in the same cell as Shane, the 25-year-old. Shane did not immediately recognize that his new cellmate was actually his sister’s abuser, and when he figured out later who Robert was, he was outraged and tried his best to control his emotions. He even said that he approached prison staff in an office to ask them to assign him a different cellmate but was told to leave.
But eventually, Shane buckled under the pressure and was captured on surveillance camera punching, kicking, and stomping on Robert’s head. Robert died as a result of the attack, and Shane has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his death.
An investigation into the inmate’s murder was conducted, showing there was little the guards could have done to prevent the killing. But the main question was why the authorities placed Shane and Robert in the same cell.
An agency spokeswoman stated that the state’s Department of Corrections’ internal investigation found that Shane had not mentioned Robert during his intake screening at the prison, and none of the documents reviewed as part of the cell assignment process indicated a conflict between the two.
The report also stated that “there is no evidence suggesting that screening staff should have known about the conflict between Shane and Robert.” The report noted that the girl identified by Shane as his sister goes by a different last name, as does Shane’s mother. This further complicated any effort to screen for family relationships.
The DOC stated that all agency protocols appeared to have been adhered to in the events leading up to Robert’s death. “While the independent investigation found the department properly followed all procedures in place to protect our incarcerated population, this is an unfortunate and complicated incident, and we are always reviewing procedures to identify areas for improvement.”