The Justice Department announced that Christopher Hall, a former sergeant for the Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Macon State Prison (MSP) in Oglethorpe, Georgia, and two former CERT officers, Ronald Lach and Delton Rushin, were convicted on Friday night by a federal jury on federal offenses related to the beating of an MSP inmate in 2010 and the cover-up that followed. Three other defendants, James Hinton, Derrick Wimbush and Tyler Griffin, were acquitted of related charges.
Ronald Lach was one of several MSP officers who participated in a retaliatory beating against an inmate as their form of punishment for the inmate’s prior misconduct. Lach was convicted of violating the inmate’s rights, conspiring to obstruct justice after the assault and obstruction of justice. Hall and Rushin were convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice.
In related cases, five former MSP officers have pleaded guilty to various charges in connection with a series of beatings of inmates in 2010 at Macon State Prison, and the cover-up that followed.
“Eight former corrections officials from Macon State Prison now stand convicted for their involvement in beating inmates and in the coordinated cover-ups that followed each assault,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “These officers betrayed the public trust by using their official positions to commit violent civil rights abuses and then tried to cover up their crimes. The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute vigorously corrections officers who use their power to violate federal law.”
These cases were investigated by the Macon Resident Agency of the FBI, with the support of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The cases were prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Tona Boyd for the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Macon.