View Full Version : Three inmates charged w/ Death - GEO Group

08-12-2005, 01:31 PM
Posted on Tue, Aug. 09, 2005
Investigation continues into stabbing death at private Lauderdale prison
Associated Press
MERIDIAN, Miss. - An investigation continues into the stabbing death of an inmate at the privately run East Mississippi Correctional Facility, Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie says.
The inmate, Stanley Johnson, 42, was serving a life sentence for a rape conviction in Sunflower County. Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler reported that Johnson died Sunday at a Meridian hospital from stab wounds in the chest and both thighs. An autopsy has been ordered.
East Mississippi Correctional Facility, located off U.S. 80 in the Lost Gap community, is privately owned by GEO Group Inc., formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corp.

August 10, 2005

Arrest expected in prison killing
Authorities question several inmates in fatal stabbing Sunday at correctional facility

By Chris Joyner (
Johnson was serving a life sentence for a 1985 rape conviction in Sunflower County. Warden Larry Greer said Johnson was attacked about 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the privately run prison and died several hours later in a local hospital.

Sollie and Greer said several prisoners have been questioned in the stabbing. No weapon has been found, and officials won't go into specifics about their investigation.

Greer said he was unaware of any unrest that could have led to the stabbing. He said he doesn't know why Johnson was attacked.
"I don't know much about him at all at this point," he said.

Greer said the 1,000-bed prison in the Lost Gap community west of Meridian has been on lockdown since the stabbing. The prison's 872 inmates have been confined to their cells virtually 24 hours a day.

East Mississippi Correctional Facility houses medium-security psychological disorders.
Greer said the security measures are in line with the seriousness of the incident.

"Any time you have an incident, you are going to take different measures," he said.
This is the second time in three years an inmate has been killed in the prison. In 2002, 58-year-old Lonnie Grisham was found bludgeoned to death in his cell. Information on whether Grisham's killer was prosecuted wasn't available Tuesday.

The prison is run by the GEO Group Inc., a Florida-based company formerly known as Wackenhut. The GEO Group runs private prisons in 14 states, as well as in South Africa and Australia. In Mississippi, the company also runs the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, which was the site of the beating death of an inmate by another prisoner in 2001.

The GEO Group is in the first year of a five-year contract renewal to run the two prisons.

August 12, 2005

Three inmates charged in death of fellow prisoner
By Chris Joyner (

Three inmates at East Mississippi Correctional Facility are charged in the murder of fellow inmate Stanley Johnson.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said today that John Pickens, 35; John Sparkman, 30; and Kelvin Cage, 36, each face a charge of murder in the stabbing death of Johnson on Sunday.

Sollie said the killing apparently dates back to a disagreement between Pickens and Johnson, when the two were incarcerated in the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

"All indications are this was a planned assault on the victim," the sheriff said.

Johnson, 43, was attacked in a cell block and died later Sunday day in a local hospital.

Sollie said authorities believe all three suspects took part in the attack. Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler told the Associated Press that Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for a 1985 rape in Sunflower County, was stabbed in his chest and both thighs.

Sollie would not give specific information on what weapons were used in the stabbing until forensic tests are completed. "We have collected some evidence that we believe was used," he said.

Cage is serving 25 years for receipt of stolen property, Sparkman is serving 20 years for armed robbery, and Pickens is serving a 30-year sentence for armed robbery, according to state Department of Corrections records.

East Mississippi Correctional Facility is a privately run prison located off U.S. 80 in the Lost Gap community near Meridian. The GEO Group Inc., formerly known as Wackenhut, manages the prison.