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Press Release

Federal Inmate Charged in Fatal Stabbing of Fellow Inmate at the Terre Haute Federal Prison Complex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

TERRE HAUTE- A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Otha Don Watkins III, age 42, of Cairo, Illinois, with involuntary manslaughter and possessing contraband in prison.

On April 14, 2023, Watkins was serving a federal prison sentence and was an inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. According to the indictment, on April 14, 2023, Watkins allegedly stabbed fellow inmate, Carlos Shelton, with an improvised knife during a fight. Improvised knives, commonly referred to as “shanks” are illegal to possess in prison and pose a significant risk to the safety of fellow inmates and correctional staff. Watkins allegedly created the weapon with a piece of metal sharpened to a point at one end and wrapped in white cloth on the other.

Shelton ultimately succumbed to his injuries. Watkins remains in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Investigation Services branch of the Bureau of Prisons investigated this case. If convicted, Watkins faces up to 8 years in federal prison, in addition to his current sentence.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jayson W. McGrath, who is prosecuting this case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




Updated May 10, 2024

Violent Crime