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A former prison guard pleads guilty to using excessive force, obstructing justice

Photo of a jail cell door
Grant Durr

A former correctional officer at Pinckneyville Correctional Center pleaded guilty to federal charges for beating a restrained inmate.

The U.S. attorney reports 25-year-old Christian Pyles of Christopher admitted to violating the inmate’s civil rights by using excessive force and then falsifying the incident reports.

Former officer, 35-year-old Cord Williams of Vergennes, was also charged in the indictment and pleaded guilty on July 18. The charges arose from an incident in which an inmate was beaten while fully restrained in handcuffs and leg irons on April 24, 2022.

According to court documents, the beating occurred to punish the inmate, because the inmate had previously punched a different correctional officer. The act of retaliation caused the inmate to suffer severe injuries including facial fractures, multiple lacerations requiring 25 stitches, a chipped tooth and lung damage.

Pyles is scheduled to be sentenced in January and the sentencing hearing for Williams is set for November 6.

The deprivation of civil rights charge is punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison while the conspiracy to obstruct justice charge can result in up to five years in prison.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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