Deputy Warden James Hinton and seven former members of the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Macon State Prison in Oglethorpe, Ga., were charged with federal civil rights, conspiracy or obstruction offenses arising out of incidents in which inmates were allegedly assaulted by officers in order to punish the inmates for prior misconduct. The indictment alleges that former CERT members Christopher Hall, Ronald Lach Jr., Delton Rushin, Kerry Bolden, Derrick Wimbush, Kadarius Thomas and Tyler Griffin, conspired to assault inmates, and that the seven former CERT members conspired with Deputy Warden Hinton and others to cover up their misconduct by writing false reports and providing misleading information to investigators.
The defendants face statutory maximum sentences of 10 years for the civil rights conspiracy charge; 10 years for the civil rights violation; and 20 years for each count of obstruction.
Three former CERT members: Emmett McKenzie, Darren Douglass-Griffin and Willie Redden, previously entered guilty pleas in related cases before U.S. District Judge Marc T. Treadwell.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation initially conducted an investigation at Macon State Prison. The investigation by the Macon Resident Agency of the FBI is ongoing. The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Tona Boyd of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.