Two Maryland prison officers indicted in inmate beating

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Local,Maryland,Crime,Scott McCabe

Two former Maryland correctional officers have been indicted on civil rights offenses in an assault on an inmate.

The indictments mark the latest chapter in the long-running saga of the 2008 beating of inmate Kenneth Davis.

Both correctional officers had been acquitted of second-degree assault at trial in 2009, but now they face charges brought on by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

Robert Harvey, 66, and Keith Morris, 30, former officers at the Roxbury Correctional Institution, were indicted Tuesday on a charge of deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Harvey, a former lieutenant, was also charged with obstruction of justice charge for allegedly filing a false report to cover up the incident.

Harvey faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted, and Morris faces a maximum term of 10 years.

According to court documents, Harvey and Morris attacked Davis on March 8, 2008, in retaliation after the inmate attacked a fellow correctional officer at the Hagerstown facility.

Several officers had been attacked by inmates in the mess hall and the prison had been placed on lock-down.

Davis, who was serving a 19-year sentence for robbery, was taken to the infirmary after he attacked the officer.

While there, correctional officers entered his cell and kicked and punched the 42-year-old Davis about the head, face and body on at least four occasions over 24 hours, according to charging documents.

Court documents allege that Harvey and Morris participated in at least one of the assaults, which were so severe that Davis was left unrecognizable.

With the indictments of Harvey and Morris, the number of people charged in the incident is now 14.

Three pleaded guilty to the conspiracy last month.

In separate pleadings, one officer admitted to opening the cell door for the assailants, and helping to clean the blood from the cell while another officer erased the surveillance tapes.

Another corrections officer admitted to beating Davis, and a third officer said he held down the inmate.

The third officer also admitted to being given a list by a supervisor and told to call the other officers on to have them meet at a McDonald's restaurant to discuss their cover story.

smccabe@washingtonexaminer.com

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