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Press Release

Former Alabama Correctional Sergeant Sentenced for Violating Civil Rights of Inmate by Using Excessive Force and Lying to Cover It Up

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Alabama

           MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – A former Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Sergeant, Devlon Williams, 38, was sentenced yesterday to 63 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for using excessive force on an inmate and lying afterwards in an official report and to investigators in an attempt to cover up his abuse. He was previously convicted of deprivation of rights under color of law, falsification of records and obstruction of justice by a federal jury in the Middle District of Alabama.

           “This defendant was a sergeant who was supposed to set an example for those he supervised and instead he callously abused his authority and brutalized a vulnerable inmate during a time of need,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will not tolerate this type of violent conduct inside our jails and prisons, and we will continue to prosecute corrections officials who violate the constitutional and civil rights of people in their custody. This sentencing should send a clear message to officials employed in correctional settings that they are not above the law and will be held accountable when they break it.”

           “While most members of law enforcement serve honorably and professionally, some are not so dedicated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross for the Middle District of Alabama. “Williams savagely beat and taunted an inmate who was not resisting and posed no threat, then he and another officer lied to conceal the crime. They must be held responsible for their actions. Failure to do so would discredit the noble service of every other officer and weaken the public’s trust in those who are sworn to protect.”

           “Former corrections officer Devlon Williams not only attacked the victim while transporting him to receive critical care for suicidal ideation, but also attempted to cover up his crimes and intimidate witnesses,” said Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “The FBI remains committed to protecting the dignity and civil rights of individuals in custody, and we will investigate any law enforcement and corrections officers who abuse their authority.” 

           According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, Williams transported a suicidal inmate, D.H., from ADOC Staton Correctional Facility’s chapel to the healthcare unit. Rather than take the inmate to the infirmary to receive the aid that he needed, Williams stopped in the main hallway of the healthcare unit, where, away from other inmates, Williams assaulted D.H. while taunting him by yelling, “since you want to die, I’m going to help you.” Witnesses testified at trial that Williams repeatedly punched and kicked D.H., who was lying on the ground in a fetal position and not resisting or posing a threat to anyone. Williams continued the beating by hitting D.H. multiple times with a collapsible baton. Another corrections officer, Larry Managan Jr., also participated in the beating.

           After the beating, Williams and Managan attempted to cover up their misconduct. Williams made false statements about the assault to an ADOC investigator and prepared a false report about the incident. He also pressured junior-ranking officers and eyewitness nurses to lie along with him after the fact.

           Managan previously pleaded guilty, was sentenced for obstructing justice and testified against Williams at trial.

           The FBI Mobile Field Office and the ADOC 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.

Updated February 29, 2024

Public Corruption
Violent Crime