Tag Archives: prison

Man who escaped prison on a tractor after sexually assaulting and killing an officer captured

Man who escaped prison on a tractor after sexually assaulting and killing an officer capturedFive days after escaping from prison, a Tennessee inmate emerged from a field on Sunday, weathered and mosquito-bitten, and surrendered to police, officials said.The inmate, Curtis Ray Watson, was captured roughly 10 miles from the prison, the West Tennessee State Penitentiary, in Henning, Tennessee, about an hour’s drive northeast of Memphis. Officials said he had sexually assaulted and killed a veteran prison executive and then fled on a tractor on Wednesday.Watson looked “relieved to be over with his run,” David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said at a news conference. “He knew he wasn’t getting away because of the number of law enforcement that was present.”Just before 11am, Watson, with his hands raised, knelt down as a correctional officer and a parole officer took him into custody, officials said.Authorities were at the “right place at the right time,” said Tony Parker, the commissioner of the state Department of Correction.Both Bird and Brown were at the news conference, but declined to speak. A witness, Alexia Lebel, 38, recounted the capture, which she watched from across the road.Ms Lebel, an employee at the Dollar General Store in Henning, said she witnessed Watson’s arrest through the shop window.She watched Watson, 44, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence for felony charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated child abuse, approach a car before one of the women came out and took him into custody.Immediately after Watson was apprehended, Ms Lebel said, it felt as if the entire community of Henning, which has a population of less than 1,000 people, came out.“Over a hundred people came to see,” Ms Lebel said. “Everybody started going on foot, across the street and over the hill. All the cars started lining up.”Harvey and Ann Taylor were awakened by their security system, which alerted them that someone was behind their home on Graves Avenue. They reviewed the footage and saw a man looking in their outdoor refrigerator, recognised him as the escapee and then called 911, they said at the news conference.Within 30 minutes of the call, hundreds of law enforcement officers descended and conducted both ground and air searches, Mr Rausch said.The Department of Correction posted an alert that said Watson had changed clothes and was wearing camouflage overalls and a hat and carrying a backpack.Moments after the capture, the bureau posted a video of Watson, in handcuffs, being placed in a police vehicle, which was surrounded by onlookers.Watson was taken to a hospital. There was no indication anyone had helped him in the escape, Mr Rausch said.On the day of his escape, Watson had been released from the prison for his work assignment mowing lawns, according to officials and court records. As a jail trustee, he had access to prison equipment, including a golf cart and a tractor.Between 9 and 10am, Watson drove away on a tractor, according to court records.Officials say Watson killed the prison executive, Debra Kaye Johnson, who had been with the Department of Correction for 38 years and who lived in a state-owned house on the prison grounds.Her body was found at 11.30am at her home with ligature marks and a cord wrapped around her neck. The medical examiner’s office determined that she had been strangled and sexually assaulted.“I’ve never met someone more dedicated,” Mr Parker said. “She served us and the people of Tennessee well.”New York Times



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US slaps Hezbollah financier with prison, $50 mn fine

US slaps Hezbollah financier with prison, $  50 mn fineA Lebanese businessman designated by US authorities as an important financial supporter of Hezbollah was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $ 50 million, the Justice Department said Thursday. Kassim Tajideen, 63, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to launder money as part of a scheme to evade US sanctions. “His sentencing and the $ 50 million forfeiture in this case are just the latest public examples of the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle Hezbollah and its support networks,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.



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Woman convicted of murdering alleged sex trafficker freed from prison

Woman convicted of murdering alleged sex trafficker freed from prisonCyntoia Brown, who received a life sentence at 14-years-old for killing a real estate broker, has been released from prison after 15 years.



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Pennsylvania mother charged in son's sippy cup death sentenced to prison

Pennsylvania mother charged in son's sippy cup death sentenced to prisonA Bucks County woman will serve up to 50 years in state prison for the death of her 2-year-old son.



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Cyntoia Brown scheduled to leave prison after clemency

Cyntoia Brown scheduled to leave prison after clemencyA woman who said she was a 16-year-old sex-trafficking victim when she killed a man in 2004 is scheduled to be released from prison this week after being granted clemency . Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and other celebrities had lobbied for Cyntoia Brown's release, and then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam agreed in January. The now-31-year-old Brown will remain on parole supervision for 10 years after her release Wednesday, on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions, Haslam's commutation says.



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A Brazilian gang leader dressed up as his 19-year-old daughter to escape from prison. It didn't work

A Brazilian gang leader dressed up as his 19-year-old daughter to escape from prison. It didn't workClauvino de Silva attempted to escape prison by dressing up as his 19-year-old daughter and leaving her in his cell.



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Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitated

Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitatedSAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A bloody clash between two prison gangs on Monday left at least 57 inmates dead with 16 of them decapitated, authorities in the state of Para said, the latest deadly clash as Brazil’s government struggles to control the country’s overcrowded jails. Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para’s state government said in a statement. “It was a targeted act,” state prison director Jarbas Vasconcelos said in the statement, adding there was no prior intelligence that suggested an attack would take place.



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Inmates behind Brazil deadly prison riot transferred: official

Inmates behind Brazil deadly prison riot transferred: officialForty-six inmates involved in one of Brazil’s deadliest prison riots were being transferred to other jails Tuesday, an official said. At least 57 people were killed on Monday when fighting broke out between rival drug gang factions in the Altamira Regional Recovery Centre in the northern state of Para. Sixteen were decapitated in the hours-long battle, but most died in a fire that engulfed part of the overcrowded facility that used converted shipping containers to house some of the inmates.



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Prisoners decapitated as 57 dead in Brazil prison riot

Prisoners decapitated as 57 dead in Brazil prison riotAt least 57 inmates died, 16 of whom were decapitated, in a prison riot that broke out on Monday morning in the northern Brazilian state of Para – the latest in a series of deadly clashes. Authorities said the riot involved rival criminal gangs who took at least two penitentiary officers hostage as they battled one another. As Brazil’s incarcerated population has surged eight-fold in three decades to around 750,000 inmates – the world’s third-highest tally – its prison gangs have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls. Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para's state government said in a statement. Most of the dead died in the fire, they said, while two guards were taken hostage, but later released. Brazil prison riots Credit: Bruno Santos/Getty Images "It was a targeted act," state prison director Jarbas Vasconcelos said in the statement, adding there was no prior intelligence that suggested an attack would take place. "The aim was to show that it was a settling of accounts between the two gangs." Videos circulating online showed inmates at the prison celebrating as they kicked decapitated heads across the floor. Reuters was unable, however, to independently verify the footage. Elected on a tough-on-crime message, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has benefited from a sharp drop in homicides so far this year. Nonetheless, endemic prison violence has been a stubborn public security challenge in one of the world's most violent countries. In May, at least 55 inmates died during prison attacks in the northern state of Amazonas. Weeks of violence in Amazonas in 2017 resulted in 150 prison deaths as local gangs backed by Brazil's two largest drug factions went to war. Brazil's justice ministry said in a statement that it was working with Para authorities to identify those behind the latest attack, adding it had opened some space in the federal prison system where those gang leaders would be transferred. A refrigerated truck arrives at the Regional Recovery Center in Altamira, Para state, Brazil after a riot broke out between rival gangs at the Regional Recovery Center Credit: KAIO MARCELLUS/Rex Prison gangs originally formed to protect inmates and advocate for better conditions, but have come to wield vast power that reaches far beyond prison walls. The gangs have been linked to bank heists, drug trafficking and gun-running, with jailed kingpins presiding over criminal empires via smuggled cellphones. In the country's violent northeast, prison gangs have grown powerful by moving cocaine from Colombia and Peru along the Amazon's waterways to the Atlantic coast, where it heads to Africa and Europe. Murderous disputes often arise as they clash over territorial control. The Red Command hails from Rio de Janeiro, but has expanded deep into northern Brazil as it seeks to diversify its income. That expansion has often led to confrontations with Brazil's largest and most powerful gang, the First Capital Command, headquartered in Sao Paulo. The Comando Classe A gang is seen as a relatively small gang, and is little known outside Para. Its high-profile attack against the Red Command could give it a nationwide reputation. Bolsonaro's government has proposed moving powerful incarcerated drug lords to federal lockups, and building more prisons at the state level. But with the vast majority of prisons run by Brazil's overstretched state governments, he is likely limited in terms of what he can achieve from Brasilia. His ability to curtail violence, however, may be limited as most prisons are controlled at the state level. In January 2017, nearly 150 prisoners died during three weeks of violence across several Brazilian prisons as local gangs backed by Brazil's two largest drug factions attacked one another.



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UPDATE 4-Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitated

UPDATE 4-Death toll in Brazil prison massacre rises to 57 with over a dozen decapitatedSAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO, July 29 (Reuters) – A bloody clash between two prison gangs on Monday left at least 57 inmates dead with 16 of them decapitated, authorities in the state of Para said, the latest deadly clash as Brazil’s government struggles to control the country’s overcrowded jails. Prisoners belonging to the Comando Classe A gang set fire to a cell containing inmates from the rival Comando Vermelho, or Red Command, gang, Para’s state government said in a statement. Videos circulating online showed inmates at the prison celebrating as they kicked decapitated heads across the floor.



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