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Elmira inmate serving life sentence for Syracuse murder attacks two officers at prison

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

A 35-year-old inmate serving a life sentence for a brutal murder in Syracuse attacked and injured staff at Elmira Correctional Facility on Sunday evening.

As inmates began to turn out for evening recreation, a sergeant and officer began to conduct random frisks of inmates for contraband. The inmate was ordered to comply with the frisk utilizing a scanning chair. Initially, the inmate complied and sat in the chair. Suddenly, he jumped out of the chair and punched the sergeant and officer in the face. They immediately put the inmate in a body hold, forced him against the wall, and then to the ground. Two other officers responded to assist.


During the struggle, staff were able to apply handcuffs, and once in handcuffs, the inmate became compliant. He was removed from the area and brought to the infirmary for evaluation.

The inmate, who is serving a life term after being convicted in 2015 for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and second-degree attempted arson in Onondaga County. The inmate, who was not identified, lured a man to a house where he beat him with brass knuckles and stabbed him to death. He was on parole when he committed the murder from two previous prison stints.

The sergeant and officer both sustained pain and swelling to their head and face. They were treated by facility medical staff and remained on duty.

The two officers who responded to the attack were transferred to Arnot Ogden Medical Center for treatment. One officer sustained face and shoulder injuries, and the second officer sustained a knee injury. Both officers did not return to duty.


The inmate was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges after being treated in the infirmary.

“As we continue to advocate for the repeal of the HALT Act, this brutal attack on staff at Elmira is the exact reason HALT needs to be repealed. This attack was committed by a vicious inmate who brutally lured and beat a man to his death in 2015 after serving two previous stints in prison for other crimes. Even though he was placed in a Special Housing Unit after the attack, the level of disciplinary measures he faces amounts to a slap on the wrist,” said Kenny Gold, NYSCOPBA Western Region Vice President. “Because he is serving a life sentence with no chance for parole, there is little to deter him from attacking and injuring staff in the future because of the ridiculous HALT legislation. The State Legislature needs to wake up and stop pandering to the inmate advocates and realize their progressive policies have miserably failed and begin to support the men and women in law enforcement who keep them and their communities safe.”