Indictment: Guard repeatedly struck inmate, lied about it

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FILE – In this Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, file photo, a red tag hangs on a cell door, signifying an active COVID-19 case for its inhabitants at Faribault Prison, in Faribault, Minn. A Tennessee advisory panel tasked with determining eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine acknowledged that prison inmates in the state were high risk, but concluded that prioritizing them for inoculation could be a “public relations nightmare.” (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

OXFORD, Miss. — A federal grand jury has charged a deputy warden at Mississippi’s state penitentiary with injuring an inmate in 2016 and lying about it to investigators.

Prosecutors said Melvin Hilson was a member of the K-9 unit at the prison when the inmate was struck and repeatedly knocked to the ground. The indictment said Hilson falsely claimed in a report that he had found some type of contraband on the inmate.

It also accused Hilson of lying about the incident to Mississippi Department of Corrections investigators.

The indictment was dated June 24 and has pled not guilty. Arraignment is set for Thursday, with a trial date set for August 23.

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