Ex-corrections officer charged with murder - WRBL

Ex-corrections officer charged with murder

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By Donathan Prater

An Auburn man is behind bars charged with murder in connection with the August 4, 2010 beating death of an inmate in an Alabama correctional facility.

Auburn police and agents with the Alabama Attorney General’s Investigations Division arrested Michael Anthony Smith, 37, just before noon Tuesday at an apartment complex on Gatewood Drive, Auburn Police Division Chief Tommy Dawson said.

Smith’s arrest comes as a result of an Oct. 17 indictment returned by a Barbour County grand jury charging the former correctional lieutenant with the beating death of 24-year-old Rocrast Donnell Mack.

At the time of the alleged beating, Smith was employed at the Ventress Correctional Facility in Barbour County. Mack was taken to a Montgomery hospital, where he died of his injuries the following day.

The indictment charges Smith with intentionally causing Mack’s death by beating him with his hands, feet and or a baton, according to a release from the attorney general’s office.

An autopsy report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences cites the cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries” including contusions to his face and neck.

Information released by the Department of Corrections stated that the Alabama Bureau of Investigation found possible criminal conduct by correctional officers, resulting in the firing of two officers and the resignation of four others. The names of those officers were not released.

Smith will be arraigned in Barbour County in Clayton on Nov. 3, according to Don Valeska, assistant attorney general.

Mack was serving a 20-year sentence on a drug conviction out of Montgomery County, according to a court document.

Smith was transported to the Lee County Detention Facility where his bond has been set at $500,000. If convicted, Smith faces a sentence of 99 years to life in prison.

Smith was an employee with the Alabama Department of Corrections from March 1997 to October 2010, according to Brian Corbett, Alabama DOC Public Information Manager.

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