The Washington Post

Prison guard gets 20 years in inmate death


A former state correction­s officer was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in federal prison for his role in the beating death of a prison inmate in May 2018.

Alex Banta, 31, of Quincy was “caught up in the culture” of silence surroundin­g physically assaulting inmates but there was no excuse for his treatment of 65-year-old Larry Earvin at Western Illinois Correction­al Center, said U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough.

In a statement to the court, Banta took responsibi­lity for his actions, but said rough treatment of prisoners was not only condoned but expected at the prison in Mount Sterling.

A jury convicted Banta in April 2022 of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivatio­n of civil rights, obstructio­n of an investigat­ion, falsificat­ion of documents and misleading conduct.

Myerscough sentenced him to 15 years on the civil rights charges and five years on the other counts, to run consecutiv­ely.

Earvin’s beating on May 17, 2018, resulted in 15 broken ribs and abdominal injuries so severe that a portion of his bowel was surgically removed. He died June 26.

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