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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 11, 2017

Federal inmate sentenced for murder of fellow prisoner

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Kevin Marquette Bellinger, a federal inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia, was sentenced today to life in prison for murdering another inmate, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Bellinger, 36, formerly of Washington, D.C., was found guilty 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 fellow inmate Jesse Harris by a jury in August 2017. 

Bellinger and fellow inmate, Patrick Andrews, stabbed Harris to death with homemade knives in an orchestrated attack.  According to evidence introduced during Bellinger’s trial, while a group of inmates were being moved from the recreation yard back to their cells, Andrews and Bellinger confronted Harris and repeatedly stabbed him.  In less than a minute, a correctional officer approached and the attackers fled.  Officers apprehended Andrews after reviewing surveillance footage, which showed Andrews and Bellinger engaged in a verbal confrontation with Harris, followed by the two attackers wielding weapons and assaulting Harris, who was unarmed and backing away from them.  Harris ultimately died from multiple stab wounds sustained during the attack.

At the time of the murder, Bellinger was serving a sentence of 15 years to life for an assault with intent to kill that took place in 2000.

Bellinger was convicted in this case by a federal jury on June 16, 2014 and sentenced to life in prison. That conviction was overturned on appeal in June 2016.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Cogar and Sarah E. Wagner prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. This case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.  

Senior U.S. District Judge Irene M. Keeley presided.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated December 11, 2017