Inmate's death told in Fulton jailer trial

Shortly after Fulton County jailers entered Richard Glasco's cell, an inmate across the hall heard a scream he will never forget, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

Glasco, a mentally unstable inmate, had been yelling and banging on his cell for hours. Soon after jailers left the cell, Glasco, 42, was found unresponsive and not breathing. He was soon pronounced dead.

Two former Fulton jailers, Curtis Jerome Brown Jr. and Mitnee Markette Jones, are standing trial this week. They are charged with lying on reports, lying to FBI agents and lying to a federal grand jury that investigated Glasco's death on March 18, 2008.

Separately, Brown faces excessive-use-of-force charges for pummeling another inmate on Aug. 11, 2007, while the detainee was handcuffed behind his back.

The former jailers are among five detention officers who have been charged in an FBI probe of abuse of inmates at the sprawling Fulton jail, which has long been under court supervision because of problems stemming from chronic overcrowding.

When FBI agents began investigating Glasco's death they were "met with lies and deception and pretty much a brick wall," Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela Jordan told jurors during opening statements.

Brown, Jones and fellow jailers Chantae Taylor and Derontay Langford entered Glasco's cell after he had been making a clammor, Jordan said. When they left, the window on Glasco's door was shattered and blood and remnants of his skin was found on the glass, the prosecutor said.

Victor Hutchins, an inmate across the hall, heard a physical altercation and then Glasco's scream after the jailers went inside. Then, Jordan said, "there was no more screaming, no more yelling."

In September, Langford pleaded guilty to lying to the grand jury investigating Glasco's death and will testify for the prosecution. Taylor, who was not charged, also will testify. No one has been charged with killing Glasco.

Brown, an U.S. Army veteran, is also accused of beating inmate Maurice Aikens while Aikens was awaiting trial. Aikens has since been convicted for the murder of Kyle Moore, a popular student-athlete at Booker T. Washington High School.

On Aug. 11, 2007, Aikens was transferred off his floor to a disciplinary lockdown section for being disruptive during a head count of inmates, Detention Officer Tiece Thomas-West, the prosecution's first witness, testified. Brown volunteered to help move Aikens and handcuffed him behind his back, she testified.

When they got off the elevator, Brown ordered a trustee who was mopping the floor to leave the area. He then pulled on black leather gloves and began beating Aikens until Aikens' blood splattered on the floor and the wall, Thomas-West said.

"I was terrified," she testified. She said she tried to get Brown to stop but he continued. "[Aikens] was not a threat to me," she told the jury.

Lawyers for both Brown and Jones told jurors their clients are not guilty. C. Samuel Rael, Brown's lawyer, accused higher-ups at the jail of falsely pinning the blame on Brown. Aikens was an "out-of-control maniac" and Brown "did what he needed to do as a correctional officer to remedy the situation," Rael said.