The Justice Department announced today that Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced former Sergeant Danny Ray Duncan, of the Columbus County Detention Center in Whiteville, N.C., and inmate Terry McMillian on charges relating to the assault of another inmate. Duncan, 63, received 20 months in prison followed by two years supervised release. McMillian, 26, received 46 months in prison followed by three years supervised release.
“These defendants were brought to justice for abusing their power and violating the rights of an inmate,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The department will continue to prosecute defendants that violate our nation’s civil rights laws.”
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Thomas G. Walker stated, “No one is above the law. Those responsible for the beating of this inmate must face consequences for their criminal conduct.”
During plea proceedings on Oct. 6, 2011, Duncan, while working on the night shift as a sergeant with the Columbus County Detention Center admitted that on Aug. 2, 2010, he placed a pretrial detainee into a cell knowing there was a substantial risk that the inmates in the cell would assault the detainee. Duncan further admitted that he acted with deliberate indifference to the risk of assault, and that the detainee suffered bodily injury as a result of the assault.
McMillian pleaded guilty on Dec. 5, 2011, for conspiring to commit an offense against the United States. McMillan with another inmate brutally beat the detainee.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Toby Lathan from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Ryan R. McKinstry from the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice prosecuted the case.