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Press Release

Former Eastern Kentucky Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Covering up Assault of Inmate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

ASHLAND, Ky. – A Morehead, Ky., man, and former Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center (EKCC) officer, Derek A. Mays, 32, pleaded guilty to an information on Monday, before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, admitting to four counts of obstruction of justice.              

According to his plea agreement, Mays admitted that on July 24, 2018, he witnessed three EKCC correctional officers assaulting an inmate, and then he falsified records that covered up that assault.  Specifically, Mays wrote and signed an Occurrence Report that was intending to cover up the assault, saying that the inmate had been uncompliant, which was false. Mays also admitted to later lying to his supervisor, a KSP detective, and a Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet investigator, on three separate occasions, about the assault.                       

Mays was indicted in July 2022.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office; and Colonel Phillip Burnett Jr. Commissioner, KSP, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by FBI, KSP, and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Dembo and Mary Melton.

Mays is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2023. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each charge.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes. 

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CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887

Updated July 12, 2022

Civil Rights