Home Louisville Press Releases 2009 Inmate Sentenced for Assaulting Several Corrections Officers

Inmate Sentenced for Assaulting Several Corrections Officers

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2009
  • Eastern District of Kentucky (859) 233-2661

LONDON, KY—An inmate at the United States Penitentiary Big Sandy in Inez, Ky. was sentenced Friday to 18 years and three months in prison for assaulting several corrections officers at the penitentiary.

United States District Court Judge Amul R. Thapar sentenced 35-year-old Ronald Cooks, formerly of Oklahoma City, Okla., for the charge of Assault Resulting in Bodily Injury. Cooks’ sentence was less than two years off the maximum penalty allowed by the federal statute (20 years).

In July of 2009,Cooks was found guilty by a jury of the charge. The evidence at trial established that in September of 2008, Cooks was involved in an assault of another inmate at the penitentiary.

When officers Oliver Crum, William Schlick, James Cantrell and Wesley Howard responded to break up the fight, Cooks punched each of them in the face and head. Cooks continued to resist the officers until more staff arrived. As a result of Cooks’ actions, each officer suffered bodily injuries.

Under federal law, Cooks must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence, and upon release will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years.

Judge Thapar ordered that Cooks’ sentence to run consecutive to his current federal sentence for robbery.

James A. Zerhusen, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, J.C. Zurcher, Warden, USP Big Sandy, and Timothy D. Cox, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, jointly made the announcement today after the sentencing on Friday.

The investigation was conducted by the USP Big Sandy Special Investigative Services Office and the FBI. The United States was represented in the trial by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr.