Former Tennessee Supervisory Corrections Officer Sentenced for Civil Rights Offenses After Assaulting an Inmate and Ignoring His Medical Needs
NASHVILLE – A former supervisory corrections officer at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility in Hartsville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty today to two counts of civil rights violations.
Kenan Lister, 42, of Clarksville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for using unlawful force on an inmate, and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for being deliberately indifferent to the inmate’s medical needs.
“All persons, including prison inmates, are guaranteed under the Constitution the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment,” said U.S. Attorney Wildasin. “I commend our partners at the FBI and the prosecution team for their diligent work in bringing this case and ensuring accountability for the unlawful actions of a prison guard.”
Lister was indicted in September 2021 and today admitted that, on August 30, 2019, he was on duty as the prison’s security threat group coordinator and escorted an inmate to a holding cell after the inmate assaulted a prison employee. At the time, and while the inmate was sitting in a holding cell and not resisting, Lister punched the inmate in the head, knocking him to the ground, and then kicked, punched, and struck the inmate multiple times in his head, chest, and torso after he was on the ground. The assault caused serious bodily injury to the inmate, including fracturing his ribs and puncturing his lung, which required the inmate to undergo surgery and to be hospitalized for several days.
Despite Lister’s knowledge that the inmate needed medical attention, Lister failed to provide medical care or to make the necessary notifications to get the inmate medical care and, instead, locked the inmate in a holding cell.
“When a correctional officer violates the civil rights of an inmate whose safety he is charged with, it undermines the respect and reputation of all law enforcement officers," said Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski of the FBI Memphis Field Office. "The FBI will vigorously investigate and bring to justice any law enforcement officer who violates the constitution and the trust of the people."
Lister faces up to 10 years in prison on each count when he is sentenced on August 17, 2022.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda J. Klopf and Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer of the Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
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Public Affairs Officer