Illinois prison guards face federal charges in inmate death

Local News

FILE -This undated photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows Larry Earvin, a former inmate at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt Sterling, Ill. Three prison guards face federal assault and civil rights violations charges in his death. (Illinois Department of Corrections via AP File)

ILLINOIS (AP) – A federal grand jury has indicted three Illinois prison guards on charges of assault and civil rights violations in the May 2018 death of an inmate at Western Illinois Correctional Center. 

Lt. Todd Sheffler, 51, of Mendon, Sgt. Willie Hedden, 41, of Mount Sterling, and officer Alex Banta, 28, of Quincy are charged with conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivation of civil rights and obstruction of an investigation.

The indictment alleges that on May 17, 2018, they beat 65-year-old Larry Earvin without justification and while he was handcuffed.

Earvin later died.

Each pleaded not guilty and was released from custody Friday afternoon.  

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(This story was originally published on December 6, 2019)

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