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Press Release

Additional Former Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Beating of Handcuffed and Shackled Inmate at Angola State Prison

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Officer Conspired to Cover Up Beating by Falsifying Records and Lying to Investigators

A former supervisory correctional officer at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, pleaded guilty yesterday in connection with the beating of a handcuffed and shackled inmate, in addition to conspiring to cover up their misconduct by falsifying official records and lying to internal investigators about what happened. 


James Savoy, 39, of Marksville, Louisiana, admitted during his plea hearing that he witnessed other officers using excessive force against the inmate and failed to intervene; that he conspired with other officers to cover up the beating by engaging in a variety of obstructive acts; and that he personally falsified official prison records to cover up the attack.


Scotty Kennedy, 48, of Beebe, Arkansas, and John Sanders, 30, of Marksville, Louisiana previously pleaded guilty in November 2016, and September 2017, for their roles in the beating and cover up.


“Every citizen has the right to due process and protection from unreasonable force, and correctional officers who violate these basic Constitutional rights must be held accountable for their egregious actions” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute correctional officers who violate the public’s trust by committing crimes and to covering up violations of federal criminal law.”


“Yesterday is another example of our office’s unwavering commitment to pursuing those who violate the federal criminal civil rights laws,” said Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundson. “We will continue to work closely with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI to ensure that no one is above the law.” 


This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Baton Rouge Resident Agency and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frederick A. Menner, Jr. of the Middle District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

Updated November 2, 2017

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 17-1235