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Prison guard killed at Brickeys unit

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 20, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.

A map pinpointing the location of the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, Ark., where an inmate stabbed a prison guard to death Friday afternoon.

— A convicted murderer stabbed a female guard to death at an east Arkansas prison Friday when she went into his cell to investigate whether he had an unauthorized pair of shoes, a prison spokesman said.

Sgt. Barbara Easter was stabbed in the side, abdomen and chest at about 12:30 p.m. Friday, said Shea Wilson, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction. Easter died at about 3 p.m. at a hospital in Memphis, about 40 miles away.

Easter, a 12-year veteran of the correction department, was a property officer who investigated whether inmates had contraband items.

“This is obviously very difficult for the department when something tragic like this happens,” Wilson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Easter’s family. These officers — it’s a tight-knit workplace. They look out for each other and are there together for a lot of hours of the day, so this is very difficult for everyone.”

Wilson said the prison wasn’t locked down after the attack and that the inmate will be moved to the state’s maximum-security unit at Varner. The inmate was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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RBBrittain says... January 20, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.

He was already a murderer; why wasn't he at Varner Supermax already? If ADC and the Lee County prosecutor are smart, they oughta try him for capital murder and go for the death penalty this time; anything less would be useless and IMO an affront to the guard's family.

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ArmyMedic says... January 20, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.

Why is the inmate still alive? Why wasn't lethal force used to save this officer? Is our system that weak where a convict can kill a guard without any recourse taken against him or her? He should had been shot or accidentally tripped down a flight of several stairs head first.

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Jfish says... January 20, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

Another victim of our relaxed justice system, this animal should have likely been executed after his first murder.

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Dellmann says... January 20, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.

Cannot imagine why one staff alone would enter a cell of a convicted murderer. There are always homemade weapons so can't assume the inmate was "unarmed." Should have had an armed guard standing outside the cell to monitor the situation while she did the search for contraband. Trying for capital murder now sounds like the right move. What a shame, sorry for this lady's family.

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quiet4us2 says... January 20, 2012 at 4:46 p.m.

Well so much for life in prison. He should be executed at 12:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

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HDawg says... January 20, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.

Ok, dude needs to experience a slight sting when the needles goes in, then go to sleep for an extended period of time.....foreEVER. However, I gotta ask, is an unauthorized pair of shoes REALLY a large security risk? Wonder if unauthorized shoes justify losing staff? I don't fault the guard at ALL, but I do think its said we should read this story over "unauthorized shoes!" Or is there more we weren't told?

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... January 20, 2012 at 4:58 p.m.

Shame.

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kinggeorge says... January 20, 2012 at 4:59 p.m.

He should be retried for murder and the prosecutor should ask for the death penalty. If found guilty, he should be executed in 10-15 years, after all the appeals run out. We have the best legal system in the world, but liberals have gone a long way to thwart it with endless appeals. Three years from guilty to execution should be the maximum time allowed. Does anyone agree?

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TheBatt says... January 20, 2012 at 5 p.m.

Capital Murder - period. But this is, as other posters have hinted, just a symptom of a broken and lax "justice" system, where the criminals have more rights than the victims.

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rx1 says... January 20, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.

I don't understand this - and I just found out about it. I'm as much for equal rights as the next female, but even at Pulaski County almost ALL the guards in the male cellblocks are FEMALE! And one alone....I don't care how well trained you are, this piece of trash obviously got the jump on this woman, and WHY? I'm with Dellman, someone else there at least armed with a taser might have saved her life.

The inmate? He needs to take a dirt nap. Tonight.

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