A federal jury in the Middle District of Alabama convicted a former Alabama correctional sergeant of deprivation of rights under color of law, falsification of records and obstruction.
The evidence at trial established that on March 8, 2018, at the Alabama Department of Corrections’ Staton Correctional Facility, Correctional Sergeant Devlon Williams assaulted an inmate, D.H., in the main hallway of the healthcare unit. Witnesses at trial testified that Williams repeatedly punched and kicked D.H., who was on the ground and not resisting or posing a threat to any person or corrections officer. Williams continued the beating by hitting D.H. multiple times with a collapsible baton. The government presented evidence at trial that after the beating, Williams and another corrections officer, Larry Managan, who previously pleaded guilty to obstruction, attempted to cover up the beating. Williams made false statements about the assault to an Alabama Department of Corrections investigator and prepared a false report about the incident.
“This defendant is being held accountable for using excessive force against an inmate and preparing a false report to cover-up his unlawful behavior,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Prisoners, like everyone else, have the right to be free from such needless and extreme violence at the hands of law enforcement officers. The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable law enforcement officers who violate the constitutional and civil rights of any American, including people who are incarcerated.”
“While most corrections officers try each day to do the right thing, unfortunately, some abuse the authority they are granted,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama. “Everyone deserves protection under the law and my office will hold any officer criminally responsible for violating the civil rights of a person in his or her custody.”
“There is no place for this type of behavior in law enforcement. The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Brown of the FBI Mobile Field Office. “Today’s conviction demonstrates our commitment to this mission. I would also like to highlight the exceptional work by our partners at the Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division without whom this case could not have been successful.”
Williams’ co-defendant, Larry Managan Jr., previously pleaded guilty to making false statements in connection with this incident on Dec. 8, 2021. Williams and Managan are awaiting sentencing.
The FBI Mobile Field Office and Alabama Department of Corrections Law Enforcement Services Division investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Counts for the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Anna Gotfryd of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.