A former high-ranking administrator accused of fostering violence at a dangerous North Carolina prison acknowledged in federal court that he kept homemade weapons such as shanks hidden in the ceiling of his prison office.
A former high-ranking administrator accused of fostering violence at a dangerous North Carolina prison acknowledged in federal court Tuesday that he kept homemade weapons such as shanks hidden in the ceiling of his prison office, reports the Charlotte Observer. Testimony from former manager Jeffery Wall came during the second day of a civil trial examining whether Wall’s supervisor, Lawrence Parsons, the top official at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, ignored serious problems and allowed Wall to maintain a “violent, contraband-driven fiefdom.”
An investigation by the Observer last year found that state prison policies and management failures allow corruption and violence to thrive. A video taken inside Lanesboro in 2012 shows Wall meeting with gang members just minutes before those inmates, armed with homemade weapons, became involved in a fight that killed inmate Wesley Turner. Hours after the murder, video also shows Wall gesturing to the killer. To investigators and the killer’s lawyers, his meaning seemed clear: Keep your mouth shut. Later, investigators found bloody weapons hidden in the ceiling of Wall’s old office. The lawsuit on trial at Charlotte’s federal courthouse this week was brought by Stacey Wynn, an inmate who suffered serious injuries after two 2011 assaults at Lanesboro. Wynn, who is serving a life sentence on a 2008 murder conviction, was permanently disabled after one of the attacks, his lawyers say. Wynn alleges that Parsons was “willfully and deliberately indifferent” to his safety, in violation of his constitutional right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment.