Illinois prison guards face federal charges in inmate death


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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A federal grand jury has indicted three Illinois prison guards on charges of assault and civil rights violations in the May 2018 death of an inmate at Western Illinois Correctional Center.

Lt. Todd Sheffler, 51, of Mendon, Sgt. Willie Hedden, 41, of Mount Sterling, and officer Alex Banta, 28, of Qincy are charged with conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivation of civil rights and obstruction of an investigation. T

he indictment alleges that on May 17, 2018, they beat 65-year-old Larry Earvin without justification and while he was handcuffed. Earvin later died.Each pleaded not guilty and was released from custody Friday afternoon.

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