Inmate lawsuit: Guards stood by or helped facilitate attack at Mount Olive Correctional Center

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A black West Virginia inmate says in a federal lawsuit that he was attacked by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood while state prison guards either did nothing or helped facilitate the assault.

Lermon Russell, 44, filed suit last week over the attack at the Mount Olive Correctional Center, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Russell says in the suit that Jacob Samples attacked him more than a year ago, stabbing and punching him while he was shackled. Court filings including a statement from Samples that says guards knew about and encouraged the plan to attack Russell.

Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Lawrence Messina said division officials only would comment on the case through court filings.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the state Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as multiple officials within the agency, correctional officers and nurses.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering and seeks to have the agency adopt policies to prevent similar incidents.

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