Correctional Officers Charged with Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights
TALLAHASSEE—A federal grand jury returned an indictment, unsealed today, charging that correctional officers William J. Ray, 40, of Carrabelle, Florida, and Corry B. Fletcher, 43, of Bristol, Florida, conspired to violate the civil rights of a state inmate and deprived the inmate of constitutional rights at the Franklin Correctional Institution, a state prison in the Northern District of Florida. Fletcher was additionally charged with obstruction of justice. The indictment was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that, in July 2014, Ray and Fletcher, while acting as state correctional officers, conspired to intimidate a state prison inmate in the free exercise and enjoyment of the constitutional right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by correctional officers. The indictment further charges that Ray and Fletcher physically assaulted an inmate at the Franklin Correctional Institution without justification and caused the inmate bodily injury. The indictment finally charges that, in April 2015, Fletcher obstructed justice by intentionally misleading FBI and FDLE agents through false statements.
Ray and Fletcher were arrested this morning and arraigned in federal court today. The trial is scheduled for July 13, 2015, in Tallahassee.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, with the assistance of the Florida Department of Corrections—Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen M. Kunz.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.