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Press Release

Federal Inmate Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murdering Another Inmate

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-0100 ● Contact: Tara Tighe, Public Affairs Specialist

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Federal inmate Kevin Marquette Bellinger, a former resident of Washington, D.C., and an inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, was sentenced today to life in prison for the murder of another inmate.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, for the Northern District of West Virginia and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley of the Northern District of West Virginia.

Bellinger was convicted by a federal jury on June 16, 2014, of one count of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and one count of second degree murder in a federal facility for his role in the Oct. 7, 2007, murder of inmate Jesse Harris.

According to evidence presented at trial, during a move of inmates from the recreation yard back to their cells, Bellinger and a co-defendant left the yard ahead of the others and traveled to an intersection of two corridors in the prison facility, where they confronted Harris and stabbed him with shanks in an orchestrated attack. In less than a minute, an officer approached, and the attackers fled. Officers apprehended Bellinger after a short pursuit, but they did not recover his weapon. Surveillance footage of the attack showed Bellinger and his co-defendant engaged in a verbal exchange with Harris, followed by the two attackers wielding weapons and assaulting Harris, who was unarmed and backing away from them.

At the time of the murder, Bellinger was serving a life sentence for an assault with intent to kill that took place in 2000.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Flower of the Northern District of West Virginia and Trial Attorney Richard Burns from the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Section.

Updated January 7, 2015