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  • mcprison mcprison Jun 19, 2001 7:45 AM Flag

    another suit in NM

    The Associated Press.

    � � � � � � � � � � � � June 19, 2001, Tuesday, BC cycle

    � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 4:09 AM Eastern Time

    SECTION: State and Regional

    LENGTH: 268 words

    HEADLINE: Inmate's family sues prison firm, state officials



    �� The family of an Albuquerque man who was killed two years ago inside a
    privately run prison in southern New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against state
    officials and the company in charge of the lockup.

    �� Richard Garcia's relatives claim prison officials knowingly created dangerous
    conditions that led to his death.

    �� The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court, names Wackenhut Corrections
    Corp., a Florida-based company that owns and operates the Lea County
    Correctional Facility; Gov. Gary Johnson; Corrections Secretary Rob Perry; and
    several prison officials.

    �� Santa Fe attorneys Mark Donatelli and Robert Rothstein, who are representing
    the Garcia family, are seeking unspecified damages.

    �� State and Wackenhut officials said Monday they could not comment on the
    pending lawsuit.

    �� Garcia, 47, was in an isolation cell in June 1999 when a guard opened the
    door, allegedly allowing two inmates to enter and stab Garcia 50 times.

    �� Inmates Paul Payne, 27, and John Price, 29, were charged with capital murder
    in Garcia's death.

    �� Price pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit
    first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Payne's trial is set
    for November.

    �� According to the lawsuit, state and Wackenhut officials knew Payne and Price
    were violent offenders with a history of armed attacks on other prisoners.

    �� Despite their histories, the lawsuit says the two inmates were appointed as
    trustees in the administrative segregation unit where Garcia was housed.

    �� Garcia, who had been serving a term for aggravated battery, was to have been
    released this year.

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