MICHAEL R. SISAK and MICHAEL BALZAMO (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (FloridaToday.news) — An inmate suspected of stabbing Larry Nassar at a federal prison in Florida said the disgraced former sports doctor provoked the attack by making an obscene comment while they were watching a Wimbledon tennis match on TV, a person familiar with the matter said. . Associated Press.
The inmate, identified as Shane McMillan, was previously convicted of assaulting a corrections officer at a federal prison in Louisiana in 2006 and attempting to stab another inmate at the Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado, in 2011, court records show.
McMillan attacked Nassar in his cell on Sunday with a makeshift weapon, stabbing him repeatedly in the neck, chest and back before four other inmates broke in and dragged him out of Nassar, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Correctional officers assigned to the United States Penitentiary branch, Coleman, responded to Nassar’s cell and took what officials said were life-saving measures. He was taken to hospital where he remained stable on Wednesday with injuries including a collapsed lung.
Cell doors in most federal prisons are usually open during the day, allowing inmates to move freely around the facility. Since Nassar was attacked in his cell, the incident was not recorded by surveillance cameras, which are only focused on common areas and corridors.
McMillan, 49, told prison officials he attacked Nassar after a sexually assaulted former USA Gymnastics team doctor said he wanted to see the girls play in the women’s Wimbledon match, the person said.
This individual was not authorized to publicly discuss the details of the attack or the ongoing investigation and did so on condition of anonymity.
Messages asking for comment were left with lawyers who had represented Macmillan in his past cases.
Sunday’s attack was the second attack on Nassar in federal prison. He is serving decades in prison for sexually abusing athletes, including college stars and Olympic gymnastics champions, and for possessing explicit images of children.
The attack highlighted persistent problems at the federal Bureau of Prisons, including violence, understaffing, and a failure to ensure the safety of even the highest-ranking inmates.
The Department of Prisons insists there were adequate staff at the prison where Nassar was stabbed, about 46 miles (74 km) northwest of Orlando, although documents obtained by the AP show that one-third of the guard positions remain unoccupied. in prison.
In a statement Wednesday, the agency said “we need to increase the workforce” and said it is recruiting officers and using financial incentives to try and retain workers. Officials said they are also still working to “address the problem of violence in our facilities” and have stepped up their security procedures, but did not provide details.
“BOP takes seriously our duty to protect those under our custody and to ensure the safety of correctional staff and the community,” agency spokesman Scott Taylor said.
“We work hard to ensure the physical safety of people in our facilities through a controlled environment that is safe and humane,” Taylor said. “As we continue to emerge from a multi-year pandemic, there are still challenges to be faced and opportunities to improve our agency, protect the lives of those who work for us, and ensure the well-being of those who are entrusted to us.”
McMillan is due to be released from prison in May 2046, according to the Bureau of Prisons’ prisoner database and court records, although this could change if he is charged and found guilty of assaulting Nassar.
McMillan was initially sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2002 to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Wyoming. He was expected to be released next year, before his convictions for attacks on prisons in Louisiana and Colorado more than doubled his sentence.
According to court records, in October 2006, McMillan punched a corrections officer who approached him in the recreation yard at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana, while investigating his previous attack on an inmate. The blow knocked the officer to the ground, cuts and bruises formed on his face and nose. Macmillan was sentenced to an additional five years.
According to court records, in November 2011, McMillan and another inmate attempted to kill an inmate at the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ High Security Administrative Detention Facility in Florence, Colorado. McMillan and another inmate stabbed the prisoner 66 times in the prison’s rest area, known as “Alcatraz in the Rocky Mountains”. Each of them was sentenced to an additional 20 years for the assault.
According to records obtained by the AP, McMillan arrived at the Coleman, Florida prison in December last year. He spent the previous four years in a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, after serving time in federal prisons in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and next to the Supermax prison in Colorado, records show.
Nassar was transferred to Coleman from Tucson Jail in August 2018. His lawyers said he was assaulted within hours of being placed in a general colony in an Arizona prison.
Associated Press reporter Alanna Durkin Reacher contributed to this report.
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