On February 26, 2020, Acting United States Attorney A. Lance Crick announced that Jarrell Boyan, 29, of Columbia, SC, was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law.
The facts presented to the court showed that on October 6, 2016, Boyan was working as a Lieutenant with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) at Kirkland Correctional Institute in Columbia. While he was on duty, an inmate, identified in the Indictment by the initials K.S., damaged the light fixture inside of his cell. In response, then-Lieutenant Boyan, the ranking officer on scene, directed several officers to assist him in inspecting the cell. Boyan devised a plan to apply restraints to K.S. and remove him from his cell. Surveillance video captured the events unfolding in the wing where K.S.’s cell was located; however, there was no camera trained on the inside of the cell. On the surveillance video, Boyan and two other officers can be seen walking down the wing and entering the victim’s cell. Once inside the cell, the victim gave some resistance and the officers used force to secure the victim in handcuffs.
The officers soon removed the victim from his cell and safely restrained him in handcuffs in the hallway. Boyan and his subordinates conducted a search of the victim’s person and located a homemade metal knife, commonly referred to as a shank. The officers removed the shank from the victim’s person and secured it at a safe distance away from the cell and off of the wing. However, several minutes later, Boyan directed the restrained victim back inside the cell, where Boyan and two subordinate officers applied additional force to K.S. Moments later, Boyan is seen exiting the cell and walking off of the wing and out of view of the camera, where he retrieved the shank. Boyan then placed the shank in his pocket, returned to the wing, and went back into the victim’s cell.
Inside the victim’s cell, shielded from camera view, Boyan exposed the shank and began stabbing the victim several times. The subordinate officers looked on and continued to physically restrain the victim as Boyan repeatedly caused injury to the victim. The victim sustained several injuries, including four stab wounds to his abdomen and punctures to his kidney and liver. The victim received immediate medical attention, but he has required additional surgeries. In the hours following the stabbing, Boyan authored a false report of the incident and directed his subordinate deputies to do the same.
SCDC immediately responded to this incident, conducting an internal investigation and partnering with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Said Acting U.S. Attorney Crick:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue fighting alongside our federal, state, and local partners to ensure those in positions of public trust are held accountable when they abuse that trust. We are grateful to SCDC and the FBI for their work in bringing this defendant to justice.”
Said Bryan Stirling, Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections:
“When a corrections officer breaks the public trust, they must be held accountable for their actions. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office working alongside the SCDC Police Services Division did a great job bringing this case to justice.”
Jody Norris, FBI Special Agent in Charge, stated:
“Citizens should trust their law enforcement officers, including correctional officers, to act in accordance with the Constitution. When that trust is betrayed the FBI will continue to work with our partners, such as the South Carolina Department of Corrections, to ensure justice is served. This case demonstrates the steadfastness of our commitment.”
Assistant United States Attorney Alyssa Leigh Richardson of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.
Ed. Note: While this news site does not normally cover crime, we felt it important to share news of this egregious behavior by a Corrections Officer and the rare conviction of a CO for harming a person in custody.