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Former corrections officer sentenced in beating of prisoner

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Yesterday, “U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar sentenced Michael Morgan, formerly an officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution (RCI) in Hagerstown, Maryland, to serve 30 months in prison for depriving an inmate of his civil rights.” In March 2008, Morgan and other correction officers at Roxbury, who were from three different shifts assaulted Kenneth Davis, an inmate at the facility. The attack occurred in retaliation for a prior incident in which Davis struck an officer.

Morgan pled guilty on January 10, 2013, to deprivation of rights under color of law. According to court documents filed , Morgan admitted that after he heard other officers yelling at inmate Davis for having previously hit a different officer, then Morgan kicked Davis in the groin and watched as another officer kick Davis also. Morgan also admitted that he tried to cover up his involvement in the assault by providing false testimony during an administrative hearing on June 17, 2008. Officers on three successive shifts beat inmate Kenneth Davis to punish him for punching a guard.

According to Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division, “The defendant participated in one of the series of assaults suffered by Mr. Davis, and then he lied to cover up his involvement.” Samuels continued, “The defendant’s actions run completely counter to the responsibilities and trust given to correctional officers. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those officers who, like this defendant, commit a crime under color of law.”

According to the FBI, “16 current or former officers at RCI have been convicted in connection with the series of assaults that Kenneth Davis suffered on March 8 and 9, 2008. Four former officers still await sentencing by U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar.”

Morgan’s is among the stiffest sentences given to the 10 men sentenced so far in federal court. He pleaded guilty last year to depriving Davis of his civil rights by kicking him in the groin and giving false testimony during an administrative hearing. This case was investigated by the Frederick Resident Agency of the FBI and prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Cunningham of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.