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Plea change hearing set in Miss. prison riot case

September 24, 2013

mississippi riotFrom Capitalist Media

NATCHEZ, Miss. — A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 19 for an inmate charged with participating in a deadly prison riot in Mississippi.

One guard was killed and 20 people were injured in the May 20, 2012, riot at the privately-run Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, which holds immigrants convicted of crimes while being in the U.S. illegally.

A court filing said the plea change hearing in U.S. District Court in Natchez is for Jesus Beltran-Rodriguez, who had earlier pleaded not guilty.

Court records said Beltran-Rodriguez is one of the inmates suspected of beating the guard, Catlin Carithers, who died.

The prison holds nearly 2,500 inmates, most of them convicted on charges of coming back to the U.S. after deportation for being in the country illegally. The prison is owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, one of the nation’s largest private prison companies.

Several other inmates have been charged with participating in the riot.

The FBI has said in court records that the riot was started by a group of Mexican inmates, known as Paisas, who were angry about what they considered poor food and medical care and disrespectful guards. The Paisas is a loosely affiliated group within the prison, without ties to organized gangs, the FBI has said.

It took hours for authorities to control the riot, which caused an estimated $1.3 million in damage.

The prison’s special response team and the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s SWAT team worked to end the riot while state and area law enforcement officers, some from neighboring Louisiana, helped secure the outside.

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