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Third Man Charged in Federal Inmate-Beating Probe in Maryland

February 26, 2013

The FBI’s ongoing civil-rights investigation into an inmate’s 2008 beatings at the hands of staff at Maryland’s Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown (“Rogues or Regulars,” Mobtown Beat, Feb. 20) has resulted in charges against a third man, 41-year-old Philip Mayo, allegedly involved with a separate set of co-conspirators than those described in the recent cases brought against two other men, 26-year-old Ryan Lohr and 28-year-old Dustin Norris.

The total number of people identified in the charges is now 12: nine officers (including Mayo, Lohr, and Norris) and three supervisors. Those not charged are identified in court documents by two-letter initials and generic job titles: officers TH, LK, MM, Rm, JK, and RR, and supervisors JH, LH, and ES.

The victim, Kenneth Davis, was in handcuffs when he was beaten four times in a 24-hour period spanning March 8 and 9, 2008. The incident prompted high-profile state-level investigations and prosecutions, with many officers fired and nine charged criminally, though 2009 jury trials ended with acquittals.

Mayo’s charging documents, like those filed against Lohr and Norris, describe RCI staff discussing how “officers would use force to retaliate against inmates,” though they knew the practice “was unlawful.”

Maryland’s prison agency, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS), has pushed back in public comments about the FBI’s current probe into the 2008 beatings. DPSCS spokespeople have emphasized that the officers involved in the Davis’ beatings were rogues and that no additional training and supervision were necessary to avoid repeat occurrences, while rejecting as “ridiculous” the FBI’s suggestion that a systemic, extra-legal practice of subjecting inmates to unlawful retaliatory beatings was in place.

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