Former Valdosta prison officer indicted

File photoA former Valdosta State Prison guard was indicted in federal court Wednesday.

MACON — A federal grand jury indicted a former Valdosta State Prison officer Wednesday over a use-of-force incident.

The former supervisory officer was indicted for obstruction of justice and "misprision of a felony" in the beating of a prisoner Dec. 29, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The beating involved retaliation against an inmate for an interaction with a female guard, past justice department statements said. Two other guards later pleaded guilty to federal offenses in the beating.

The officer indicted Wednesday was accused of not reporting the beating to authorities and of trying to get the other two guards to not write up the incident in reports and providing false statements to the FBI, the Wednesday statement said.

“Misprision of a felony” is the crime of knowing a felony has taken place but not alerting authorities, according to the Legal Information Institute.

The maximum penalty for the misprision of a felony offense is three years of imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for the obstruction of justice offense is 20 years of imprisonment, the justice department said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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