Skip to main content
Press Release

Medical Center Inmate Sentenced to 19 Years for Assaulting Federal Employee

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an inmate at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield was sentenced in federal court today for assaulting a federal correctional counselor at the facility.

Willard Begay, 34, an inmate at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 19 years and seven months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Begay to pay $2,476 in restitution for the medical injuries of the victim.

On June 12, 2014, Begay was found guilty at trial of punching a counselor in the face and throwing a computer printer at the counselor’s face.

A counselor at the prison facility met with Begay on Oct. 1, 2012, to discuss the friction Begay was having with fellow inmates and to move Begay to another unit in order to eliminate the brewing conflict between Begay and fellow inmates. At the conclusion of their meeting, the counselor was attempting to secure Begay to move him to the new unit. The counselor grabbed Begay’s left arm in order to handcuff him, when Begay abruptly turned toward the counselor and punched him in the face with a closed fist. The counselor lost his balance and fell back a few feet. While he was still dazed from the punch, Begay removed a printer from a table in the office, raised it above his head, and smashed the printer onto the counselor’s face.

The counselor radioed for assistance and correctional officers entered the room and handcuffed Begay after a struggle. The counselor was transported to the hospital emergency room. A physician determined that he sustained an orbital floor fracture. The physician closed the wound with sutures and recommended the counselor to follow up with a plastic surgeon.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Abram McGull, II and Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI.

Updated January 9, 2015