Three Illinois prison guards indicted for assaulting inmate, resulting in death

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Three Illinois correctional officers have been indicted on charges for allegedly assaulting a prisoner who later died.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Todd Sheffler, 51, of Mendon; Willie Hedden, 41, of Mt. Sterling, and Alex Banta, 28, of Quincy, assaulted inmate Larry Earvin, who was restrained and handcuffed at the time.

All three men worked at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt. Sterling.

On May 17th, 2018, the indictment alleges that the three beat Earvin while he was being escorted to another prison unit. Earvin suffered multiple broken ribs, a punctured colon, and other internal injuries. He died in June 2018.

Larry Earvin. Courtesy: Illinois Department of Corrections

According to the indictment, the guards then falsified reports to omit references to the assault.

They have been charged with Conspiracy, Deprivation of Civil Rights, Obstruction, Falsifying a Document, and Misleading Conduct.

The trio are set to go to trial in February of 2020. They face up to life in prison, if convicted.

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