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Two separate indictments charging a total of nine current or former officers at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) were unsealed today, in relation to two assaults of an inmate, and subsequent obstruction of justice, announced Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
In the first indictment, four current or former RCI officers face federal charges in connection with an assault on K.D., an inmate, during the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. (midnight) shift on March 8-9, 2008. Former RCI Correctional Officers James Kalbflesh and Jeremy McCusker face civil rights and conspiracy charges for their roles in the midnight shift assault on K.D.
In addition, Kalbflesh, McCusker, RCI Correctional Officer Walter Steele and RCI Lieutenant Jason Weicht face conspiracy charges for their efforts to cover up information related to the midnight shift assault on K.D. RCI Lieutenant Weicht also faces an obstruction of justice charge for encouraging officers to get together to get their stories straight, providing home telephone numbers for the involved officers so that they could arrange for a cover-up meeting, and giving an officer books on interrogation techniques so that he would be prepared to mislead investigators. Finally, RCI Officer Steele faces two more counts for providing false and misleading information to state and federal authorities.
McCusker faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison. Kalbflesh and Weicht face a maximum of 25 years in prison. Steele faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison.
In the second indictment, five current or former RCI officers are charged. RCI Lieutenant Edwin Stigile and former Correctional Officers Tyson Hinckle, Reginald Martin, and Michael Morgan were charged with conspiring to have officers assault K.D. during the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (daylight) shift on March 9, 2008. RCI Sergeant Josh Hummer and former Correctional Officers Hinckle, Martin, and Morgan also were charged with a civil rights violation for the daylight assault on K.D. The indictment alleges that RCI officers kicked and punched inmate K.D. inside his cell in order to punish K.D. for a prior incident involving another officer. K.D. had to be transported to a local hospital following this beating.
All of the defendants in the second indictment are charged with conspiring to obstruct the investigation into assault. In addition, the indictment alleges that Lieutenant Stigile obstructed justice when he used a magnetic device to destroy and alter surveillance tapes related to the assault on inmate K.D. Sergeant Hummer also faces two obstruction of justice counts for making false and misleading statements to state and administrative authorities.
Lieutenant Stigile faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. Sergeant Hummer faces a maximum of 55 years in prison. Hinckle, Morgan, and Martin each face a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.
These cases, which are ongoing, are being investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI, and are being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.