SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Jurors on Monday convicted an Illinois Department of Corrections officer for violating the civil rights of an inmate brutally beaten at a western Illinois prison in 2018, but could not reach a verdict against a superior.
Alex Banta, 30, of Quincy, was convicted after a four-week trial in U.S. District Court of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, obstruction of an investigation, falsification of documents and misleading conduct. He faces up to life in prison.
Banta was convicted in connection with the May 17, 2018 beating of inmate Larry Earvin, 65, at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Quincy, 250 miles (400 kilometers) southwest of Chicago. He suffered 15 broken ribs and abdominal injuries so severe a portion of his bowel was surgically removed. He died June 26.
His co-defendant, Lt. Todd Sheffler, 53, of Mendon, was with Banta and another officer who delivered Earvin to the segregation unit after he allegedly failed to return to his cell, but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. One of his attorneys, William Vig of Springfield, expects the U.S. to re-try him.