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Four WVCF correctional officers facing criminal charges related to inmate incident that resulted in death of another officer from Jasonville

Thursday, September 27, 2012

CARLISLE ---- A Wabash Valley Correctional Facility excessive force investigation initiated by WVCF Correctional Police and Indiana State Police has ended.

Arrest warrants have been issued against four former correctional officers related to an incident Aug. 26 in which a correctional officer from Jasonville died of a heart attack.

Thomas G. Kaiser, 27, of Greene County, Bradley E. Keller, 30, from Sullivan County, Marty P. Getchell, 47, from Sullivan County, and Derek J. Werden, 32, of Daviess County each face preliminary class C felony charges of Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury charges for allegedly assaulting prison offenders on Aug. 26.

The incidents took place just minutes after a fight broke out in a WVCF housing unit.

"Housing Unit Officer Werden allegedly instigated the fight and used unnecessary force on offender Jamour Maxieson. Once the situation was under control Maxieson and offender Anthony Spearman were restrained and escorted to separate segregation units," Rick Larsen of the WVCF stated in a prepared news release.

Officer Timothy Betts, of Jasonville, collapsed while assisting in the escort of Maxieson. Betts, 51, passed away soon after arrival at Sullivan County Community Hospital of a heart attack, Larsen said.

Segregation officers Keller, Getchell and Kaiser are accused of assaulting Spearman, while escorting him to their assigned unit.

Investigators said the three witnessed Betts receiving emergency care immediately after his collapse, just minutes before they escorted Spearman to segregation.

Offender Spearman, 21, was treated for eye socket and related injuries then transferred to another facility. Offender Maxieson was treated at the facility infirmary and also transferred, according to Larsen.

Indiana State Police turned the case over to the Sullivan County Prosecutor's Office late last week.

Arrest warrants were issued Thursday afternoon.

Superintendent Richard Brown fired Keller, Getchell and Kaiser last week. Werden was terminated two weeks ago.

They have been on unpaid suspension during the course of the Indiana State Police/WVCF Correctional Police investigation.

"Correctional professionals do not use unnecessary force, ever. The alleged actions by these officers is intolerable. They have no place in our ranks of dedicated, conscientious employees," Brown said.

Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon added, "Such actions are never tolerated and I commend Wabash Valley staff and the Indiana State Police for taking immediate steps to right this wrong."

Spearman is serving a six-year sentence on a Marion County robbery conviction. His earliest release date is January 2013.

Maxieson, 21, is serving a 12-year term on Marion County convictions for carjacking, robbery and handgun possession without a license. His earliest release date is December 2013.

Bond for the four men has been set at $15,000 with 10 percent allowed.

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So instead of charging the criminals for their actions of resisting cousing death, we choose to charge our own men in the line of duty, WOW! We will probly let them all out to vote next. While their out lets treat them for ice cream and let them joy ride around in stolen cars.

-- Posted by eagle26 on Fri, Sep 28, 2012, at 9:24 AM

This has nothing to do with this particular article but the man released recently that no one wanted in Bloomington because of the brutality of his crime, murdering a young lady and dis-membering her and keeping parts of her organs, he only spent 26 yrs in prison for this heinous act, they never even found her head but yet we as tax payers paid for his education which gave him an extra four years off of his sentence when my daughter owes so many student loans and she has never committed a crime in her life is so screwed up!These laws need to be changed for sure, this guy shouldn't even be released, period! Good time behavior should never be allowed in violent crimes! thanks for letting me vent

-- Posted by sassy12 on Sun, Sep 30, 2012, at 10:42 AM

Just wondering if anyone has an answer for this: Have any inmates at WVCF ever been charged in court for threatening or attacking correctional staff? I know if you or I assaulted or threatened an officer on the street, we'd be charged & sentenced in a blink of an eye. Just wondering.

-- Posted by old linton native on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 9:16 AM

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