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Jail Officer Beats Inmate To Death

Raleigh, N.C. – A Wake County detention officer charged with causing an inmate”s death said in court Wednesday he felt the prisoner was a threat and needed to be subdued.

Shon Demetrius McClain, 40, died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck 13 days after prosecutors say he got into a fight with Officer Markeith Council.

Council, a detention officer at the jail since 2009, is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the case. The defense rested Wednesday, and the jury began deliberation shortly before 4 p.m.

Testifying on his own behalf, Council recalled the night he got into an altercation with McClain. Council said he was the only officer in the cell block with 55 inmates when McClain started arguing with him.

Council had been passing out sheets to the inmates when McClain accused him of nearly slamming his hand in the cell door.

“He talked about how we had too much power” Council said. “Other inmates were egging him on. I told him not to listen.”

About 15 or 20 minutes later, Council said, inmates were out of their cells when a combative McClain approached him again.

“I”m telling him that he needs to back up” Council testified. “Again, I”m telling him don”t let his friends get him in trouble. You could hear these guys saying something to him.”

Council said within moments McClain struck him in the jaw, and they began to tussle. The officer tried to handcuff him while keeping an eye on the crowd.

“I”ve got to get him off of me and get him secured” Council said. “I”m worried about what is going on around me. Your mind shuts down and you go to what you know, which is your training.”

Council said he didn”t have time to use pepper spray. He called on all available officers and a nurse, and another officer put the block on lockdown after the altercation was over. You can see Council leave without checking on McClain”s injuries.

McClain – who had been in custody since May 28 on misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and consuming malt beverage on public property – was taken to WakeMed, where he remained on life support until his death on June 17.

Council, who has three children and a baby on the way, said his career goal is to become a prison warden. His wife is a Raleigh police officer.

He said he didn”t know McClain prior to that night and “didn”t have a problem” with him.

During testimony Tuesday, other inmates said that McClain – who was 5 feet 7 inches tall and 119 pounds – was helpless once he was pinned by the bigger officer. Jurors were shown security video that showed Council slamming McClain to the ground twice.

During his cross-examination Wednesday, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby focused on the physical differences between the men. Council weighs 290 pounds and played football in college.

Willoughby asked Council whether he considered subduing McClain by sitting on him, rather than slamming him to the ground.

“”Why did you throw him down the second time?” the prosecutor asked. “You know that at that point, throwing him down was going to hurt him.”

Council replied: “I didn”t think to hurt him. I was thinking about getting him off of me.”

WNCN: News, Weather for Raleigh. Durham, Fayetteville
The officer says the inmate hit first… It looks like the officer hit first to me… Did I miss it?

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Category: Weird
Date: 12/13/13 02:38 PM

24 Responses to Jail Officer Beats Inmate To Death

  1. Profile photo of SweepOfDeath
    SweepOfDeath Male 18-29
    938 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm
    Link: Jail Officer Beats Inmate To Death - The officer says the inmate hit first... It looks like the officer hit first to me... Did I miss it?
  2. Profile photo of Sakamura
    Sakamura Male 30-39
    237 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    So technically you got a combattive inmate who got a grudge against an officer that`s alone, and a situation where other inmates are (according to the officer) putting the pressure on the defunct inmate. Whoever strikes first is mostly inconsequential as I would defuse any situation that threatens to strike me before it happens.

    I`m more anarchist than my share, but that doesn`t sound like this prosecution will go anywhere. Either way, I know too little to actually make a proper summary judgement on either of these, and I`ll refrain from judging.

    What I _can_ judge, though, is that inmate`s crime was yet again drugs and booze, which is making USA the #1 inmate/citizen ratio on the planet.
  3. Profile photo of den3jlb
    den3jlb Male 18-29
    364 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm
    He is definitely guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

    Give him a pay rise.
  4. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    30851 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm
    Why would I want to watch a "snuff film"?

    At least it`s clearly labeled, I appreciate that @SweepOfDeath! I won`t rate the post either, since I didn`t watch it.
  5. Profile photo of CaptKangaroo
    CaptKangaroo Male 50-59
    2285 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    Call me silly but, my idea of `defusing a situation`, isn`t pushing a guy so hard he stumbles back several feet and is almost knocked to the ground-I call that escalating the situation.
    these days, it`s common to film cops viciously beat people, and yell at the cops to stop. Son, it will be common for bystanders to take action against abusive cops- by mere fact that the authorities do little or nothing to hold police liable for their bad decisions and/or outright intentional abuse.
  6. Profile photo of cfwestdotie
    cfwestdotie Male 18-29
    184 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm
    i needed to get him out of my immediate space, stfu
  7. Profile photo of osirisascend
    osirisascend Male 40-49
    3032 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm
    It looked to me like right before the Officer threw the ouch that the inmate approached him with a raised hand and extended index finger, and started to get into his face.

    The first blow was understandable.

    So was the first bodyslam.

    Since the inmate was no longer moving after the first bodyslam, the second was wholly unnecessary.

    BUT, I`ve been in my share of hairy physical confrontations and can understand how the "FINISH HIM" mindset can happen.
  8. Profile photo of Cbones88
    Cbones88 Male 18-29
    3 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    In my own opinion , I feel that yes he used excessive force, but at the same time, that is one less punk thug that will end up back on the streets
  9. Profile photo of ReBoot
    ReBoot Male 18-29
    233 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    A regrettable outcome, but i really wouldn`t blame the officer for it.
    He`s in a an extremely stressful situation getting attacked by an inmate with other inmates all around. Anybody who`s ever been in a fight knows that you`re essentially just trying to make the other guy stop hitting you. Buddy made the inmate stop. Adrenaline, bi*tch
  10. Profile photo of soundman655
    soundman655 Male 50-59
    1558 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm
    That`s the way all prison should be. Enough kissing ass !!
  11. Profile photo of mentott510
    mentott510 Male 60-69
    204 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    I work in a state prison. The officer was wrong. The inmate was just being mouthy. The officer should have tried to calm the inmate down. If the officer felt threatened, he should have called for backup, ordered the inmate(s) back to their cells and moved to a safer position in the room (closer to help). You do not square off with an inmate in a day room full of inmates when you are by yourself. The officer clearly made the first contact and took the fight way past just restraining the inmate. He could have gotten seriously hurt if the other inmates piled onto him.
  12. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    35669 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I`m torn on this one. It does look harsh, but this is not "real life". This is prison. A very different world. And the only way to keep the guards safe is if the prisoners are too afraid to cause a situation. "Shut up and do as the guard said".

    I`m sorry the guy died, but those guards are in more danger on a daily basis than any cop on the street. A `Lifer` with no chance of parole has nothing to lose if he attacks a guard does he?

    I`d discipline him, {busted 1 rank?} then put him back in there so the prisoners understand you do NOT argue with the guards.
  13. Profile photo of mentott510
    mentott510 Male 60-69
    204 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    The goal of managing a prison is to keep everyone safe. In this case a show of force (other staff arriving on the scene) would probably have restored order to the pod quickly. The mouthy inmate would have been removed or locked in his cell and removed later. Lifers and long-term offenders are often the most helpful inmates in keeping order. They do not want any drama.
  14. Profile photo of djwajda
    djwajda Male 40-49
    885 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm
    As everyone knows I`m always one of the first to defend law enforcement...unless it`s clearly wrong.

    The slams were not part of training, those were just hard gorilla slams. There were so many different techniques this officer could have employed and diffused the situation quickly without anyone getting hurt.

    I will say that prisons and even county jails are not an environment for just anyone to work in and stress is one of the biggest problems. You`ve got 1 officer locked in alone with anywhere from 30-60 inmates. And let`s face it the majority of those inmates aren`t just sitting back and behaving themselves.
  15. Profile photo of djwajda
    djwajda Male 40-49
    885 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Even if it had been clearly not the officer`s fault, putting him back in there alone after killing someone would not be smart.
  16. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    35669 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    @ djwajda - I see your point. Like I said I`m torn. Prisoners MUST obey guards, but he was clearly over-the-top. I want to support him....but. I just don`t know. I don`t think prison for the guard is appropriate. Fire him maybe? Or demotion and transfer to another prison.
  17. Profile photo of auburnjunky
    auburnjunky Male 30-39
    10338 posts
    December 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm
    Prisoners don`t have the same rights we do.
  18. Profile photo of Tatung42
    Tatung42 Male 30-39
    41 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 12:39 am
    I am normally one of the most anti-cop people around. However, assaulting a citizen who has not yet been convicted of a crime like we see in a lot of the IAB videos is not the same; the guy in this story is a convicted criminal. If more prison guards did this maybe criminals would start fearing going to jail again and stop committing crimes.
  19. Profile photo of tedgp
    tedgp Male 30-39
    3287 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 5:05 am
    Going purely from the video. The officer should be on a full manslaughter charge.
  20. Profile photo of auburnjunky
    auburnjunky Male 30-39
    10338 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 6:08 am
    Ted. That`s a prisoner, not a human.
  21. Profile photo of djwajda
    djwajda Male 40-49
    885 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I`m speculating because I do not know the guy but I`d say it was most probably stress.

    The last 6 yrs of my career I did work in corrections. You deal with some pretty slimy people. You get your common criminals but you also have murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. It comes down to how you conduct yourself and how you deal with inmates. Be fair, enforce the rules, but at the same time treat them with a basic level of respect and you`ll most likely be just fine.

    I`m honestly not sure how his case will turn out. It`s going to depend on a lot of different factors.
  22. Profile photo of Zeegrr60
    Zeegrr60 Male 40-49
    2103 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    hang the guard.
  23. Profile photo of SethDog
    SethDog Male 18-29
    768 posts
    December 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm
    It looks like the guy came after the prison guard, and the guard was worried about his own safety and took him down.. Clearly not meaning to kill him.
  24. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7704 posts
    December 15, 2013 at 10:41 am
    I`m really surprised the other inmates didn`t pile into the guard. I know I`m normally against criminals but this was unnecessary. The bus driver pounding on the guy who spat at him faced consequences so why not a guard going OTT on an inmate?

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