by Julian Heicklen

Yerodeen Williams BV­0855 is in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Greene County. At 7:00 PM on November 18, 1997, he was going to the law library with Kelsey Boston CZÐ3972. Both Williams and Boston were handcuffed and were being escorted by guards.

The floor on F-Block B-Pod was wet with buckets of water spilled on the floor by Andy Stevens, a death row inmate, who works there. Williams slipped and fell and was knocked out. When he awoke, he was in Medical in a room with a camera. On November 19, 1997, he was seen by Dr. Favor. Mr. Williams asked to have X-rays taken, but the doctor denied his request. He was removed from the infirmary at 5:00 PM and sent to H-block D-pod 9-cell. He asked officers on the 6­2 and 10­6 shifts for Grievance forms, but his request was denied.

Mr. Williams was informed by Greg Wilson that while he was unconscious, Sgt. Oddo ordered Correctional Officers (COs) Clovis and Kovalchuk to drag him to another room before the nurse arrived. As of December 22, 1997, Mr. Williams' back is still hurting near the hip. Since the incident, he is having very bad headaches every night.

Mr. Williams story was corroborated by Johnie C. Byrd CV­4469, who reported that Mr. Williams fell on a wet floor and was unconscious. The guards dragged him off, and he has never seen him again. Three witnesses gave detailed accounts of the incident.

Gregory Wilson AS­3367 reported that at 7:00 PM on November 18, 1997, the block worker was told to put water on the floor. Sergeant Oddo was new, and that is why the water was on the floor against regulations. Inmate Williams BV­0855 was going to the library, when he slipped and fell on his head and knocked himself out cold. Sergeant Oddo kicked Williams in the leg. COs Kovalchuk and Clovis picked up Williams and took him off the block. Wilson told them not to touch him until the nurses get there. Wilson wrote to Williams mother explaining what happened. The guards claim that Williams did this to himself and that he was just acting.

Robert Robinson AM­8713 reported that at 7:00 PM on November 18, 1997, in the RHU unit in B pod, CO Clovis went to inmate Williams cell B­6 and asked Williams if he was going to the law library. About 15 minutes before this an inmate worker poured water all over the bottom and top ranges and then left. Williams said yes he was going to the law library. He stuck his hands out of the food window, so he could be handcuffed behind his back. Williams cell was opened and he was walking under the range between 8 and 9 cell. Robinson is in B­3 cell and observed all of this, because he was standing at his cell door. Inmate Williams slipped and fell on his back real hard. Inmate Boston CZ­3972 was 10­15 feet away and also was going to the law library. He observed the incident with Williams. Officer Kovalchuk was escorting Boston. Mr. Williams appeared to be unconscious after the fall. CO Clovis was standing over Williams calling him and shaking him, but Williams did not respond. At that time Sergeant Oddo came into B-pod and walked over to Williams. Clovis told Oddo what happened. Sergeant Oddo kicked Williams in the leg telling him to get up, but inmate Williams did not respond. Then Oddo opened a capsule and waved it under Williams' nose trying to revive him, but it did not work. Then Oddo ordered Clovis and Kovalchuk to drag Williams off the block into the hall until the nurse came. According to Robinson, the officers should not have moved Williams.

Michael Barnes AF­7252 reported that Mr. Williams was out of his cell with his hands cuffed behind his back, when he slipped on the wet floor and fell. The two officers walking next to him did not try to keep him from hitting the floor. Williams hit the floor hard and was out cold. The two officers looked at each other, laughed, and let him lie there for a minute or two before one of them said: "Guess we better get the sergeant." The sergeant came and, after about 5 or 10 minutes, the sergeant pulled out some tobacco and put some in his mouth. Meanwhile no-one had called the hospital. After about 20-25 minutes, the sergeant told the two officers to take Williams out in the hall. They dragged him out of the block. Mr. Barnes emphasized that he does mean dragged him out.

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