4 south Ga. corrections officers sentenced for beating up handcuffed inmate, prosecutors say

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Four former supervisory and corrections officers at a state prison in south Georgia have been sentenced for their parts in the assault of a handcuffed inmate.

According to court documents, 30-year-old Sgt. Patrick Sharpe instructed two of his subordinates, Deputy Correctional Officers Brian Ford, 25, and Jamal Scott, 35, to assault a handcuffed inmate at the Valdosta State Prison in December 2018. The order reportedly was in retaliation to that inmate getting into an earlier altercation with a female officer.

Federal prosecutors say the handcuffed inmate, who has not been identified, was taken outside, thrown to the ground and beaten. It is unclear how badly injured the inmate was.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

After the assault, court documents show that 31-year-old Lt. Geary Staten worked to cover up the “unlawful” force of the officers. Prosecutors say Staten directed the officers involved not to write any type of report and did not write one himself.

Sharpe was also sentenced in a second incident where another inmate was beaten in September 2018. During that incident, prosecutors say Sharpe was escorting the inmate across the prison when he wrapped a pair of handcuffs around his fist and punched the inmate three times.


“This case serves as a reminder that individuals — no matter their status — will be held accountable for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Leary. “When sworn officers do violence against inmates, they damage society’s trust in law enforcement and tarnish the reputation of the many worthy individuals who accept the dangerous responsibility of policing our prisons.”

Prosecutors say that Ford and Scott provided them with “substantial assistance” and asked for lighter sentences for the correctional officers.

A federal judge sentenced Sharpe to 48 months in prison, Staten to 14 months in prison and 12 months and a day in prison for Ford and Scott.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]