Lawsuit filed in killing of Hays State Prison inmate
The mother of one of four prisoners killed at Hays State Prison in Trion, Ga., wants corrections officials held accountable for ignoring a "crisis in security" that her attorneys say led to her son's death.
The Southern Center for Human Rights, on behalf of RaHonda MacClain, filed a civil rights lawsuit Wednesday against eight Department of Corrections officials, from state corrections Commissioner Brian Owens to former Hays Warden Clay Tatum and the two guards on shift when 27-year-old Damion MacClain was slain in December 2012.
"Ms. MacClain seeks to hold accountable those state officials who so little valued her son's life that they ignored obvious signs that he and others at Hays were in danger," said Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Atlanta-based advocacy group.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. Northern District Court of Georgia alleges that the commissioner, warden and other supervisors knew about escalating violence at Hays but chose to ignore it. The complaint also alleges that two supervisors -- Deputy Warden Shay Hatcher and Capt. Timothy Clark -- contributed to the increase in violence by warning inmates of upcoming shakedowns for contraband weapons, among other things.
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