[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 33°F  
High: 46°F
Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

Prison officials charged with assaulting offenders headed to court

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Two of the four Wabash Valley Correctional Facility officers arrested in connection with the incident that preceded the heart attack death of correctional officer Timothy Betts' last year will be back in court next month.

Thomas G. Kaiser, 27, of Lyons, Bradley E. Keller, 30, from Sullivan County, Marty P. Getchell, 47, from Sullivan County, and Derek J. Werden, 32, of Daviess County, each face class C felony charges of battery resulting in serious bodily injury charges for allegedly assaulting two prison offenders on Aug. 26, 2012.

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

Segregation officers Keller, Getchell and Kaiser are accused of assaulting offender Anthony Spearman, while escorting him to the housing unit.

An investigation by WVCF officials and the Indiana State Police allege that Housing Unit Officer Werde 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, according to Rick Larsen, WVCF Public Information Officer.

Officer 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.

Keller and Getchell are scheduled for plea hearings in Sullivan Circuit Court next month.

Gethell's hearing is on tap for 9 a.m. on June 7 while Keller will be in court for his negotiated plea agreement at 9 a.m. on June 11.

Kaiser and Werden still have jury trials slated in Sullivan Superior Court.

Kaiser has a pre-trial hearing set for 10 a.m. on May 20, while Werden's pre-trial is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 12.

Spearman is serving a six-year sentence on a Marion County robbery conviction. Maxieson is serving a 12-year term on Marion County convictions for carjacking, robbery and handgun possession without a license.


Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on gcdailyworld.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Hey Cons, if you can't do the time don't do the crime!!!! NOT GUILTY!!!!!

-- Posted by lbyutzy on Thu, May 16, 2013, at 3:00 PM

Wow! This is an outrage! They assaulted someone and in the process basically killed one of their own!! That's how corrupt our so called legal system is!! Now maybe someone can punk on them when they do their time...ha!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Thu, May 16, 2013, at 11:21 PM

"telling the real truth" You are an Idiot....Corrupt? do you even know what goes on in Prison? Most of these morons behind bars dont deserve anything!

-- Posted by Indiana2013 on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 6:31 AM

Betts passed away in the prison yard not at the Hospital!!!

-- Posted by lillymae on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 9:22 AM

Ask those who are on the front line in a correctional facility- if an offender goes off on someone (fellow inmate or officer) they are afforded every benefit and seldom face any real action. The average Joe on the street would face felony charges in a blink of an eye for the same offense. Of course those incarcerated should have protection and legal remedies but should not have a free pass to continue to break laws and cause harm without fear of consequences.

I am not saying these particular officers shouldn't be held accountable, but with the frustrations of working every day with offenders who flaunt their special rights, one can see the potential for something like this episode.

It would be a welcome relief if the prison higher-ups would stand behind their officers and not make them the ones who are always in fear of being fired or charged with offenses.

Just my observation.

-- Posted by old linton native on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 10:58 AM

To Indiana2013.... IN FACT I DO KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THERE! DO U IS THE QUESTION?? They're are people just the same as everyone else and they DO deserve to be treated humanely unless they are a child molester!!!!' I think u shoulf be treated the way some of these people are! Most guads in pruson have a chumped up attitude due to being picked on when they was kids! That's most of the reason some of them get jobs like that, so they can feel superior to someone abd pick on them without the fear of being hurt back. But i do feel bad for the family of the man who died. None of what i said is pertaining to him. i am looking at the while prison/judicial system itself!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 12:13 PM

And to "linton native" i have an observation myself! I think the guards go around with chumped up attitudes threatening CAB's to offenders if they sit wrong so that way they get time taken away and can't get back to their families as soon as they should!!!!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 12:18 PM

Also MANY of theses guards get caught bringing in narcotics to offenders and get a slap on the wrist!! But if its an offender that does a crime they are treated like animals! THE SAME PUNISHMENT NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR ALL PEOPLE! I'm so sick of the unfair justice system. What about all the police that kill people by over tasering them. oh no, theyre good peiple. lol my butt!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 12:25 PM

well obviously you are not a guard! IMO you are an ex-Conn... IMO only an ex-con would view it like you do... let me guess, you can't work either... could it be because you have a felony or oh wait... I just bet you have been injured so bad that you cannot work and are now living off of us who do work!!! you poor thing...

-- Posted by lillymae on Fri, May 17, 2013, at 4:50 PM

Lillymae... I'm thinking along the same lines .

-- Posted by Orion's Belt on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 8:49 AM

Did anyone even read this paragraph? An investigation by WVCF officials and the Indiana State Police allege that Housing Unit Officer Werde 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, according to Rick Larsen, WVCF Public Information Officer.

It clearly states that officer werde instigated this whole scenario in the first place! That is what I call b.s. I don't know any of these people but not very professional of this officer to instigate this fight and then help assault these offenders. Sounds like to me that officer werde is the one who should be fired and held accountable and to those who do not understand that of course there are prison guards who do these kinds of things, there are police officers too, all kinds of mean going on in this world today. But there are good guards and others in authority that do their jobs correctly and use good judgement. And no I have never been in jail but I know some guards that are good people but don't be fooled into thinking that everyone who wears a uniform in a authority position is not capable of these acts, it happens every day.

-- Posted by sassy12 on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 11:23 AM

The thing is Sassy12, there are false statements in this article. The officer died on the grounds of the prison and not at the hospital. The offender who he was leading is who initiated the incident that happen when Officer Betts died. He was in restraint and brought his elbow and body up which the officers would naturally try to keep them from falling but it was not the officers who initiated the altercation with Betts...

-- Posted by lillymae on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 1:06 PM

To lillymae i think ur an arrogant idiot who makes assumptions about people because of their beliefs!! I have worked all my life and help pay into to social security to help people like u that live off of it and don't need it!! But i do know someone who is locked up and not for anything bad. The father of my children!! And if u post anything bad about him when u have no clue what is even going on then i sure am glad there is a god cause someone like u deserve to go to hell! IMO!!! DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY TELL WHAT THEY THINK!!! THEY'RE ARE ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERYTHING! Now with that being said people who commit drug offensea don't need prison they need rehab and especially if its for a pv when someone told them the qrong date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Icant stand people who think they are the "good ones" in society when actually they are just hypocrites!!! Get a life!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 11:04 PM

Lillymae, i am guessing ur related to mr. betts....I'm very sorry for ur loss and i stated before that none of what i said was pertaining to him...i know u must be hurt but pointing the finger at someone like me because ur in pain is not the way to act. everyone has their reasons for the things they say... but don't judge someone just because ur hurt. He could have had a heart attack anywhere! If his heart was bad then it would have happened anyway and to point the finger at people in prison doesn't make it better.....those people are doing their time...leave them alone and if he couldn't handle that job then he shouldn't have been qorking there! I don't say that to be mean, but the truth hurts!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 11:14 PM

The prison guards get paid to do what they do there, their job!! But the inmates sometimes have to fight in order to survive in there too!! And sometimes wrongfully sentenced!!!!!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 11:16 PM

And to old linton native....the prisoners do get charged while they're in prison just the same...the news just don't print that because they're looked down upon in society when a majority of them lead normal lives too!! I think its a shame when a child mester or murderer gets less time than a drug offender....DOES ANYONE REALIZE THAT THE MAJORITY OF PRISONERS ARE DRUG OFFENDERS AND THAT'S UR TAX $ ARE FUNDING THAT?? Why not reabilitate those and send the real bad ones to pruson then the prisons wouldn't be so over crowded and crap like this wouldn't happen!! Thats our man mitch!! My mother is deaf and can't work because of it but lazy drunks and fat people get disability checks!! That's another reason why i say the justice system is unfair...but to all of u who are against me...then let the next chomo get ur kid and see how u feel when they only get 3 years and ur son or husband get a 30 year sentence because of a set up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 11:26 PM

To orions belt, u thought wrong! Just because i have a very strong opinion in the way politics are handled does not mean i am someone who does not work or who is an ex-con. IMO ur all idiots and u should try college and get a real job like i did!!

-- Posted by telling the real truth! on Sun, May 19, 2013, at 12:08 AM

I worry about the state of college level English courses.

-- Posted by LetsGoPeay on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 9:56 AM

Wow! How many times I have heard that this paper has gotten some of the facts printed incorrect. lillymae, are you the editor of this paper? Just wondering why we all are paying for a subscription if indeed you believe they can't even edit correct facts in an article? If you truly believe what you answered my opinion with then why don't you write and demand a retraction and get the truth out there besides in this comment section which is based on one's own opinion of the article which is always biased according to how one see's things? I think truth should be a priority in what I am spending money on to read, again my opinion.

-- Posted by sassy12 on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 10:57 AM

This is a very unfortunate thing that took place at WVCF. The officers are trained to do their jobs, and are taught how to use the proper force, however when it comes right down to the wire and you are being attacked by an offender or trying to get offenders to stop fighting, then there is all kinds of things that go through your head all at once w/ all of you addrenalin pumping... Would I make the right decision in this case, I would hope so, but I don't know. I hope that I am never in that situation... :( Officer Betts could have very well had a good heart and while escorting the offender to seg, he had ahold of the offender, & he could have very well hit him w/ his elbow in the heart area, so "telling the truth" or whoever you are, I think it's time for you to stay out of this one... You obviously are making yourself look very bad & honestly being very rude to Officer Betts' family, friends, & co-workers. My heart goes out to all of his loved ones, as well as everyone that was involved in this incident. My prayers go out to all of you!!

-- Posted by in_disbelief on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 11:11 AM

Tonight on Jeopardy....

People who incessantly post to GCDW comments.

vs.

A bag of hammers.

On whom would you bet to win?

-- Posted by toolfan on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 11:01 AM

LetsGoPeay - Thanks for the chuckle!!!

-- Posted by Orion's Belt on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 2:46 PM

telling the truth: wow, spell check should be your friend. I have been sitting here reading your posts about everyone but yoursef being idiots, but have you taken the time to re-read anything you have said in this forum? One minute you feel sorry for officer Betts and his family, the next you are a screaming lunatic. I hate to inform you but atleast two of the people you are arguing with ARE infact college graduates and are very intelligent and successful members of society. I have opinions on this case as well but guess what, I wasn't there and from what I am reading (keep in mind this is only an assumption *instert sarcastic overtone here, lol) neither were you. So do us all a favor, before you go off all half cocked again, go over all of your posts and keep in mind before you reply that the family and friends of a good man who lost his life will probably be reading this. Have some class.

-- Posted by The Q on Wed, May 22, 2013, at 11:15 PM

The system likes to defend the inmates and make sure they are safe and do whatever they want and the officers just have to babysit and get in trouble when the inmates cant figure out they are bad people and have to follow rules. I say give them the message, they are not at a spa, they are bad and obviously didnt get that in the real world.

-- Posted by linton_residents on Thu, May 23, 2013, at 10:35 AM


Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on this site, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.