Illinois Prison Guards’ Trial in Deadly Inmate Beating Opens

Illinois Prison Guards’ Trial in Deadly Inmate Beating Opens

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A federal prosecutor says three Illinois state prison guards brutally beat a handcuffed 65-year-old inmate and conspired to cover it up.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass opened the trial Monday of Illinois Department of Corrections officers Todd Sheffler and Alex Banta.

They are charged with civil rights violations and falsifying records in the May 17, 2018 beating of Larry Earvin at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling.

A third officer, Willie Hedden, pleaded guilty last year and is scheduled to testify for the government.

Defense attorneys for Sheffler and Banta said that there is conflicting evidence about when the beating occurred and who was involved and that witnesses’ testimony changed as time passed.

After the incident, Earvin was airlifted to a regional hospital.

He died on June 26th at the Centralia Correctional Center infirmary, according to the death certificate signed by Clinton County Coroner Phillip Moss.