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Press Release

Another Former Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Beating of Handcuffed and Shackled Inmate at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana
Officer Conspired to Cover Up Beating By Falsifying Records and Lying to Investigators

BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Corey Amundson and Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division announced that a former supervisory correctional officer at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today to participating in the beating of a handcuffed and shackled inmate, conspiring to cover up his misconduct by falsifying official records, and lying to internal investigators about what happened.


John Sanders, 30, of Marksville, Louisiana, admitted during his plea hearing that he punched the inmate repeatedly in the head in retaliation for an earlier incident; that he witnessed other officers use 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 in order to cover up the beating.


Scotty Kennedy, 48, of Beebe, Arkansas, pled guilty in November 2016 for his role in the beating and cover up. Two co-defendants, Daniel Davis and James Savoy, remain scheduled for trial in January 2018.


Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson stated, “Our office remains committed to prosecuting violations of the federal criminal civil rights laws whenever sufficient evidence exists to do so. No one is above the law.”


“Another former correctional supervisor has admitted abusing a person in state custody and then lying to cover up his on-duty misconduct,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute correctional officers who use their official position to commit and to cover up violations of federal criminal law.”


This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Baton Rouge Resident Office 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 September 6, 2017

Civil Rights