Topic: Monroe Correctional Complex
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October 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM
An internal investigation has been launched by the state Department of Corrections after an inmate was found dead in his cell at the Monroe prison on Sept. 21.
Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesman Chad Lewis said that Jerry Levain Jamison was last seen alive on Sept. 19, two days before he was found dead in his cell. Lewis said staff members at the Monroe Correctional Complex are supposed to do daily headcounts; whether Jamison was alive on Sept. 20 is unclear, he said.
Lewis said DOC is conducting a critical incident review to ”determine that they [prison staffers] followed up with procedures.”
“It appeared he was asleep and he wasn’t required to leave his cell until Saturday evening,” Lewis said.
According to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office, Jamison, 49, died of a heart condition.
December 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM
Isaac Zamora, the Skagit County man who killed six people, including a sheriff’s deputy and a friend in 2008, was transferred to the Department of Corrections just after 8 a.m. today after he was deemed too dangerous for staff at the state mental hospital.
According to a Department of Social and Health Services’ news release sent this morning, the patient transferred to Monroe presented “an unreasonable safety risk in a state hospital setting.”
DSHS did not identify the patient, but the Department of Corrections identified him as Zamora.
Zamora has been “well behaved and compliant” since arriving at the Special Offender Unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex, said Scott Frakes, Deputy Director of Prisons. Zamora has been assigned to an ultra-restrictive cell area while staff at the prison mental health unit evaluate him, Frakes added.
“As soon as we can determine the safest housing setting for him, the least restrictive, that’s where we want to move him to,” Frakes said. “The goal is to provide adequate mental health treatment and ensure adequate staff safety.”
Zamora’s case marks the first time the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has used a new state law allowing them to transfer a patient found not guilty by reason of insanity to the Department of Corrections (DOC) because of safety concerns.
“In order to protect the safety of staff, patients and the public, I had no choice but to ask DOC Secretary Bernie Warner to temporarily house this (not guilty by reason of insanity) patient as a boarder in one of the secure Department of Corrections facilities,” DSHS Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams said in a statement.
Since Zamora remains in the legal custody of DSHS, there is a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. Zamora will be jointly reviewed by both departments every 90 days, according to DSHS.
On Sept. 2, 2008, Zamora broke into a neighbor’s house and stole a shotgun and a rifle.
He then went to the home of his neighbor and friend, Chester Rose, and killed him. He then fatally shot Skagit County sheriff’s Deputy Anne Jackson.
Down the street, he killed carpenters David Radcliffe and Greg Gillum, who had been working on another neighbor’s home, and stole their truck.
He next killed Julie Binschus and wounded her husband at their home. He fled in the stolen pickup toward Interstate 5, where he fired upon several people, killing motorist LeRoy Lange and injuring a State Patrol trooper before surrendering in Mount Vernon.
He would later tell a Skagit County judge, “I kill for God.”
November 9, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Police and state Department of Corrections officers spent Friday morning unsuccessfully searching a section of woods just outside North Bend for Brandon Musto, who escaped from the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday night.
Monroe police spokeswoman Debbie Willis said that police, State Patrol troopers, the U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Corrections staff and the King County Sheriff’s Office did not find Musto. Investigators believe Musto fled from North Bend this morning, though it’s unclear how Musto managed to slip away.
“I believe [he fled] some time after we got up there; we got up there 8 a.m.,” Willis said. “We’re regrouping to continue the investigation to see where it next leads us.”
Musto, 37, had just three months left on his sentence for vehicular assault and theft when authorities say he scaled a 10-foot chain-link fence at the prison and hopped into a friend’s car.
Prison staff noticed Musto was missing from the minimum-security unit during Wednesday’s nightly head count, sparking an unsuccessful manhunt that led them to Grays Harbor County. It was there that police on Thursday arrested a man believed to have driven Musto from the prison, said Debbie Willis.
Willis identified the alleged accomplice as Rupert Soriano, a friend of Musto’s. Soriano, 59, helped guide police to the area near North Bend on Friday morning, Willis said.
Investigators believe that Musto’s friend, who lives in Grays Harbor County, picked him up outside the prison and drove him to North Bend, Willis said.
Willis said that other tipsters led police to the wooded area near Interstate 90 mile post 38, outside North Bend, though she wouldn’t specify who they were.
Soriano was arrested by the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department for investigation of rendering criminal assistance, she said.
Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesman Chad Lewis said that Musto was set to be released from prison in February. Only offenders who are within four years of release are kept in the minimum-security unit.
November 8, 2012 at 5:50 AM
UPDATE: 10 a.m. | State Department of Corrections staff are still searching for an inmate who escaped from a minimum security unit at the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday night.
Brandon Musto, 37, had three months left to serve on his sentence when he escaped from the Snohomish County prison, corrections officials said. Prison staff reported Musto missing after the 9 p.m. head count.
Musto apparently went over a 10-foot-tall chain-link fence topped with razor wire, said Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis.
The investigation into exactly how he escaped — and whether he had help from anyone inside or outside the prison — is secondary to the effort to recapture him at this point, Lewis said.
“We have leads and we’re out there looking for him. We have multiple leads on where he might be, we have ideas of where we think he is,” Lewis said.
This morning, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department said they arrested a 59-year-old man believed to have helped Musto escape. The McCleary man was arrested for investigation of rendering criminal assistance. The sheriff’s department did not release any additional details on the man’s alleged role in the escape.
Lewis said corrections officials have concluded this was a planned escape, but declined to say more because they fear Musto, or his friends, are paying close attention to the news media.
“There’s a good chance he or a buddy are watching the news … it’s all very cat and mouse. We don’t want him to know what we know,” Lewis said.
Anyone with information on his location is asked to call 911.
Musto began serving time in September 2011 for a vehicular assault conviction in Thurston County and was scheduled for release in February 2013.
Why would a short-timer risk several more years in prison that could come with an escape conviction?
“That might be the first question we ask him,” Lewis said.
Only offenders who are within four years of release are kept in the minimum security unit.
“You have a foot out the door, there’s little incentive,” to escape, Lewis said.
Minimum security is one of five units at the prison complex at Monroe, 24 miles northeast of Seattle. It holds about 460 of the 2,500 offenders in the state’s second-largest prison.
Musto is a white man, 5-foot-8, 180 pounds with brown eyes and dark hair. He has tattoos on his right arm and left wrist.
August 23, 2012 at 1:44 PM
An inmate attacked a corrections officer this morning at a Monroe Correctional Complex unit housing mentally ill offenders, according to the prison.
The officer is being treated for serious injuries at an Everett hospital after the inmate, Jimi J. Hamilton, tackled him to the ground and pounded him with his fists around 10 a.m., said prison spokesman Selena Davis.
Hamilton, 33, had just started walking away from a verbal exchange he had with the officer–one of three watching over a room holding 152 inmates–when he turned around and attacked him, Davis said.
Hamilton, who is mentally ill, is serving 14 years for two Pierce County robberies and has a history of attacking prison staff, according to a prison release. The prison said Hamilton could face a charge for custodial assault, which could become a new felony conviction and prison sentence. His earliest possible release date now is May 2018.
The attack happened in a large day room at the complex called the F Living Pod of the Special Offender Unit. One correctional sergeant and nine non-custody staff also work in the room, which includes two tiers of cells and an area for inmates to socialize, Davis said. The entire Special Offender Unit houses 350 offenders.
Monroe Police Department and prison investigators are questioning Hamilton further about the seven-second incident at a maximum security unit he was transferred to today.
The officer and other witnesses are still being interviewed to find out what may have prompted attack, said police spokeswoman Debbie Willis.
Corrections Officer Jayme Biendl was killed at the prison, allegedly an inmate Byron Scherf, in January 2011. Scherf has confessed to the slaying.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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