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Former Correctional Officers Denied Bail In Death Of Inmate Quantez Burks

A federal grand jury indicted five former correctional officers in West Virginia on Dec. 5 for the fatal beating of inmate Quantez Burks.

According to CBS News, a federal grand jury indicted five former correctional officers in West Virginia on Dec. 5 for their involvement in the fatal beating of Quantez Burks in 2022. The U.S. Department of Justice has also charged the ex-officers, including a former lieutenant, with attempting to cover up their attack on Burks after arresting him on wanton endangerment and obstructing an officer.

The officers, Mark Holdren, 39; Cory Snyder, 29; and Johnathan Walters, 35, pleaded not guilty to the charges they face. Former officer Ashley Toney, 23, was not denied bail. All four officers, including Jacob Boothe, 25, and their lieutenant, Chad Lester, 33, are facing potential life sentences and are set to go to trial in January.

As detailed in court records, Quantez Burks made an attempt to maneuver past a correctional officer within his housing unit. Following this incident, Burks was ushered into an interview room, where correctional officers allegedly subjected him to physical blows while he remained restrained and handcuffed. Subsequently, he was forcefully relocated to a cell in a different housing unit, where he fell victim to another assault.

Quantez Burks died as a result of the injuries sustained during the brutal encounter less than a day later.

BET reports that West Virginia Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mark Sorsaia stated that the state collaborated with federal law enforcement to secure indictments against the ex-corrections staffers. Sorsaia emphasized that the department has “no tolerance for abuse of any kind to be inflicted on inmates that are housed in our state facilities.”

The Southern Regional Jail has perviously faced scrutiny for its treatment of inmates and the conditions of the facility. West Virginia settled a $4 million class-action lawsuit filed by inmates last year, alleging inhumane conditions, lack of access to water and food, overcrowding, and delayed intervention by correctional officers during inmate fights.