Federal Inmate Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Murder of a Fellow Inmate
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 26, 2013|
OCALA, FL—U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway today sentenced Boyd Wallace Higginbotham, Jr. (55) to life in federal prison for murdering fellow inmate Steven Pritchard. A federal jury found Higginbotham guilty of first-degree murder following a trial that concluded on August 22, 2013.
Both Higginbotham and Pritchard were inmates at United States Penitentiary II at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Sumter County, Florida. Higginbotham was serving a sentence on a felon in possession of a firearm conviction. Pritchard was serving a sentence on a bank robbery conviction.
According to evidence presented at trial, Higginbotham and Pritchard had been having an escalating dispute over several days. On February 20, 2008, Higginbotham and Pritchard were both at the same table in the penitentiary mess hall during lunch when Pritchard made threatening comments to Higginbotham in front of other inmates. Higginbotham got up, walked away from the table, and took his tray to the tray return area. Higginbotham then walked up behind Pritchard, grabbed him around the neck, and repeatedly stabbed him with a homemade knife. He stabbed him in the chest, abdomen, back, and forearm. Pritchard was air-lifted to the trauma unit at the Orlando Regional Medical Center. On March 6, 2008, Pritchard died as a result of complications from the stab wounds.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sam Armstrong.