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Friday, January 23, 2009

Three Jail Guards Indicted in Prisoner Death

The New York Post by IKIMULISA LIVINGSTON and ANDY GELLER - January 22, 2009

Three guards and 12 inmates have been indicted in connection with the beating death of an 18-year-old prisoner at Rikers Island, Bronx prosecutors said today.Two of the guards, Michael McKie and Khalid Nelson, were arraigned on enterprise corruption charges for allegedly running a scheme that allowed inmates to run a cellblock and beat up other prisoners to keep order. This made the lazy guards' jobs easier, prosecutors said. The slain prisoner, Christopher Robinson, who was in Rikers on a parole violation charge, was found dead in his cell last Oct. 18. He was covered with bruises.

Prosecutors said three inmates beat and stomped him to death when he refused to go along with the policing scheme, called "the program." McKie, 31, of Brooklyn and Nelson, 34, of Staten Island were ordered held on $200,000 bail. A third guard, Denise Albright, 43, of Manhattan, was charged with conspiracy and assault and held on $50,000 bail. The 12 inmates are to be arraigned tomorrow. Three of them are facing manslaughter charges for beating and stomping Robinson to death, prosecutors said. They were identified as Joseph "Pop Brim" Hutchinson, 18, of Manhattan, Anquant "Ant Luv" Bryant, 18, of The Bronx and Shaddon "Fire" Beswick, 18, of The Bronx. Robinson's mother, Charnel, who has filed a $20 million wrongful death suit against the city, called the indictment "fair and just." "It's extremely painful to know my son was placed in their care. They blatantly ignored any signs of abuse," she said outside court. "It's very soothing for the agony and pain that I have to deal with on a constant basis." Robinson's was the first homicide in city jails in four years.

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