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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 29, 2021

Inmate Gets More Than 15 Years Tacked Onto Sentence for Attacking BOP Employee

A prison inmate has been sentenced to more than 15 additional years in federal prison for attacking a Bureau of Prisons employee, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

Following a two-day trial in January, a jury found 44-year-old William Lee Terrell guilty of assault of a federal officer resulting in bodily injury. He was sentenced today to 188 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix.

According to evidence presented at the trial, Mr. Terrell was convicted in 2010 of bank robbery and ordered to serve his 235-month sentence at FCI Big Spring.  On March 23, 2019, Mr. Terrell, who was on suicide watch, was placed under the observation of Human Resource Specialist Krista Coccozza.

As HR Specialist Coccozza attempted to retrieve trash from a meal he had just eaten, Mr. Terrell reached through the food slot in the door, grabbing Specialist Coccozza. He struggled with her, attempting to free the keys to the cell attached to her belt.

Additional guards responded to Coccozza’s calls for help and they were able to free the keys from Terrell and secure his cell.

Specialist Coccozza suffered a bruised lung, bruised ribs, sprained wrist, sprained elbow, sprained fingers, skin abrasions, pain, and redness on her body, and was unable to return to work for a period of time due to her injuries.

Per the Court, Mr. Terrell will serve the 188-month sentence handed down today consecutive to the 235 month sentence he received in the bank robbery case for a total of 423 months, or a little over 35 years.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Callie Woolam and Stephen Rancourt are prosecuting the case.  U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix presided over the trial.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Erin Dooley Public Affairs 214-659-8707 erin.dooley@usdoj.gov
Updated April 29, 2021