Friday, February 25, 2005

Prisoner murdered on prison bus

Have we discussed this yet? I've been following it closely. I have an unhealthy interest in these things.

This happened a few weeks ago. Johns, age 22, was in prison "for choking an uncle with a belt, trying to saw his head off and leaving him in a closet to die." While in prison he picked up another charge for the murder of his 16 yr old cellmate (who, according to a previous article in the Baltimore Sun, was supposed to be in a juvenile-specific facility). Johns told the judge on Feb 1, while in court for the murder of his cellmate, that if he didn't get psychiatric help, he was likely to kill again.

Parker, age 20, was another prisoner. He went to court on Feb 2nd and testified on Johns' behalf that Johns was crazy, not right, volatile, etc... (although I don't know for sure, but perhaps it was a competency or insanity issue?) On the bus ride back from court on Feb 2nd, the prisoners were all on the bus on the way to Supermax, cuffed and shackled. When the bus arrived at Supermax, the correctional officers discovered that Parker was dead. None of the officers on the bus saw who killed him or how. Johns is the suspect in Parker's murder.

There are plenty of shocking things about this incident. Baltimore seems to be concerned with the fact that these prisoners were on the same bus (apparently they should not have been) and that none of the guards saw anything happen. The guards say that the lights were broken and that they are in a protective cage that they can't leave during the ride. Nor can they stop the bus, for security reasons, during the ride. This week the guards on the bus were fired.

In addition to being appalled that this occurred, it makes me feel a little sorry for Johns. He's probably not a friendly guy, as he killed his uncle, his cellmate, and a fellow prisoner. But it's clear that he's very ill. He was battling some sort of mental illness. He asked for help, knowing that if he didn't get it, he'd kill again. He didn't get the help and he did kill again.

1 comment:

notguilty said...

three of the C.O's got fired.

I guess that's a big deal to them, but really, come on.