DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2007                                            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                      PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                            CELL: (409) 553-9881



(BEAUMONT, TX)               United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that three federal prison inmates have been indicted for their roles in the murder of a fellow prisoner while they were incarcerated in the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont (USP-Beaumont). 

MICHAEL BACOTE, 32, JOSEPH EBRON, 28, and CRESCENO SHERMAN, 26, all former resident of the District of Columbia, were indicted late yesterday and charged with First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

            According to information from prosecutors, on May 7, 2005, Bureau of Prison officials working in the USP-Beaumont, discovered the body of Keith Barnes in his cell.  Barnes had been stabbed to death.  After reviewing surveillance film from cameras inside the cell block, Bacote, Ebron, and Sherman, all inmates serving federal sentences at USP-Beaumont, were identified as the alleged suspects.

            If convicted of First Degree Murder, Bacote and Ebron could receive a death sentence or a sentence of life imprisonment.  If convicted of First Degree Murder, Sherman could receive a sentence of life imprisonment. 

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joe Batte.               

            It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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