Dustin Norris and Ryan Lohr, former officers at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Md., were sentenced today for conspiring with other RCI officers on March 9, 2008, in connection with the assault of an inmate at the state prison, identified as K.D. Lohr and Norris were the first two former RCI officers to enter guilty pleas in the federal investigation of the assault and ensuing cover up.
Both Norris and Lohr previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Norris admitted that he had conspired with other officers to assault K.D. during the day shift, while Lohr acknowledged that he had agreed with other officers to cover up the day shift officers’ assault. Both Norris and Lohr cooperated with the government during the federal investigation, and testified for the prosecution at the trial of former RCI Sergeant Josh Hummer, who was convicted of obstruction of justice. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Dustin Norris to serve 15 months in prison. Ryan Lohr was ordered to serve one year and one day in prison.
During his testimony at Hummer’s trial and in court documents filed in connection with his respective guilty pleas, Norris admitted that he and other day shift officers had assaulted K.D. in retaliation for a prior incident involving K.D. and another officer. Lohr, meanwhile, admitted that he watched Norris and other officers assault the inmate, then observed a supervisor use a magnet in an apparent attempt to destroy surveillance footage related to the assault.
“Correctional officers are expected to uphold the law,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute correctional officers who use their position either to commit violent crimes or to cover up criminal conduct by other officers.”
To date, 16 current or former officers at RCI have been convicted in connection with a series of assaults carried out on K.D. on March 8-9, 2008. Eight former RCI officers still await sentencing before Judge Bredar.
The case was investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI, and prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division, with the support of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham for the District of Maryland.