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United States Penitentiary Inmate Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Assault of Federal Officers Causing Bodily Injury

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 16, 2012
  • District of Colorado (303) 454-0100

DENVER—Antoine Wallace, age 39 was sentenced last week by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 720 months (60 years) in federal prison, followed by three years on supervised release, for assaulting federal officers causing bodily injury while incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, United States Attorney John Walsh and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone announced. Wallace appeared at the hearing in custody and was remanded at its conclusion.

Wallace was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on February 14, 2011, charged with three counts of assaulting federal officers causing bodily injury. He represented himself during a jury trial that started on June 11, 2012. The jury convicted Wallace on all three counts of the indictment following the second day of trial. Wallace was sentenced by Judge Arguello on October 12, 2012.

At the time of the assaults, the defendant was serving a 218-month sentence at the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Florence for bank robbery out of the District of Maryland. That sentence was handed down in 2008. According to the sentencing statement filed by the government, on December 21, 2010, Wallace, an inmate at USP Florence, went to a scheduled meeting with two correctional counselors. During that meeting Wallace was advised that he was being relieved of his unit orderly job. Wallace became angry and disruptive, forcing the counselors to terminate the meeting. He then stormed around the common area of the housing unit before returning to the office where the original meeting occurred. Wallace then smashed the first counselor in the face, knocking him to the floor; the counselor lost consciousness. As the second counselor attempted to get in a defensive position, Wallace punched him in the face as well, knocking him on top of the first counselor.

Once both counselors were on the floor, Wallace left the office, closing the door behind him. The second counselor called for help and then was the first to emerge from the office. Wallace saw the second counselor and started a second attack, slamming both his left and right fists into the second counselor’s face, pushing him down, and causing his head to strike the concrete floor. The second counselor was then motionless and unconscious with a large pool of blood forming around his head.

Other prison staff responded to the emergency call. The first counselor was sent to the hospital and was treated for the blow to the head. The second counselor was unrecognizable to the emergency responders. One responder who knew the victim had to look at his name tag to determine his identity because he was so badly battered and bloody that she could not recognize him. The second counselor was transported to the hospital by Flight for Life and remained in critical condition for days. He is now deemed permanently medically disabled, so he can never return to his work.

“The rule of law applies inside prison just as it does outside prison: we will investigate and prosecute assaults and attacks by prison inmates on correctional officers and other inmates to the full extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The defendant in this case severely injured a Bureau of Prisons counselor and caused him permanent injuries. For that crime, Wallace will spend the next 60 years of his life in prison.”

“It is our responsibility to ensure that any inmate who assaults a federal officer is investigated and, working with the United States Attorney’s Office, is prosecuted to the fullest extent of Federal law,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Prisons and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Wallace was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judith Smith and Hayley Reynolds.

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