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Death Of Black Man In Prison Leads To Murder & Manslaughter Charges For Five Guards 

In Columbia, Missouri, four correctional officers were charged with murder and a fifth with accessory to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Othel Moore Jr., a Black inmate. Moore died after being pepper-sprayed, restrained with a spit hood and leg wrap, and left in a position causing suffocation at Jefferson City Correction Center on December 8, 2023. 

Prosecutor Locke Thompson stated Moore's death, ruled as positional asphyxiation and a homicide, was captured on surveillance. Guards Justin Leggins, Jacob Case, Aaron Brown, and Gregory Varner were charged with second-degree murder, while Bryanne Bradshaw was charged with accessory to involuntary manslaughter. The guards' actions, including pepper-spraying and improper restraint, led to Moore's death. 

Moore's family attorney, Andrew Stroth, alleged systemic abuse and compared the case to George Floyd's. Moore's family filed a lawsuit against the guards and the Department of Corrections, describing the emergency response team as brutal. The Department of Corrections stated Moore died using a restraint system meant for safety, which has now been discontinued.

The department has started using body-worn cameras in maximum-security facilities for better accountability. Moore's sister, Oriel, expressed heartbreak over his death, highlighting he had been in prison since childhood and had plans for a productive life. Moore was serving a 30-year sentence for various charges. Only one defendant, Jacob Case, reportedly hired an attorney.

Link: NBC News


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