Florida Prisons

2 Florida prison guards charged with beating inmate

Two officers at Florida’s Franklin Correctional Institution were indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that they beat an inmate and violated his civil rights.

William J. Ray, 40, of Carrabelle, and Corry B. Fletcher, 43, of Bristol, “conspired to violate the civil rights of a state inmate and deprived the inmate of constitutional rights,” according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Justice Department officials did not release the name of the inmate. They said he was physically assaulted without justification. They also did not release any further details of the incident, which happened in July 2014. They said, however, that Fletcher obstructed justice by lying to the FBI and agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The two were arraigned in federal court Wednesday and a trial date was set for July 13.

“The department has a zero-tolerance for misconduct of any kind and will continue to employ every available resource to investigate any violation of department policy and procedure,” DOC Secretary Julie Jones said in a statement, adding that corrections officers will be held accountable for criminal acts.

Neither the federal indictment nor the arrest affidavits were made available by the Justice Department on Wednesday.

Last year, the Florida Department of Corrections had a record number of inmate deaths, most of them classified as the result of natural causes.

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