Home Sacramento Press Releases 2009 Federal Prisoner Sentenced to Life for Killing Cell Mate
This is archived material from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website. It may contain outdated information and links may no longer function.

Federal Prisoner Sentenced to Life for Killing Cell Mate
Defendant Sentenced Under Federal “Three Strikes” Law

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 09, 2009
  • Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700

FRESNO, CA—United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sacramento Field Division, Special Agent-in-Charge Drew S. Parenti, announced today that U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced JUWAN TONAY FERGUSON, 36, formerly of San Francisco, to a sentence of life in prison for his voluntary manslaughter conviction in the killing of his disciplinary housing unit cell mate at Atwater Federal Penitentiary. Sentencing follows FERGUSON’S conviction after a jury trial in July.

This case is the product of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Dawrence W. Rice and Marlon Cobar, who prosecuted the case, on August 2, 2006, FERGUSON and the victim, Domosanies Duvall Slaughter, were cell mates in the Special Housing Unit at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atwater. FERGUSON told several correctional officers at different times during that day that he wanted the victim removed from his cell. After he repeated this request to another officer, his cell mate hit FERGUSON in the face. FERGUSON reacted by beating Slaughter into unconsciousness and then continuing to beat him even after he was unconscious.

Correctional officers saw FERGUSON drag the unconscious victim out from under the cell’s bed. Despite orders to stop, he continued to beat the victim’s head on the concrete floor and kick the back of his head. The victim was transported to an area hospital where medical officials pronounced him brain dead on August 6, 2006, and declared him dead on August 8, 2006.

Judge O’Neill termed the homicide and the resulting life sentence, “A tragedy for all involved.”

U.S. Attorney Brown stated, “This was a brutal and exceptionally violent crime, and warranted vigorous prosecution whether committed outside or inside prison walls. The defendant’s lengthy criminal history fully supported the severe sentence imposed”

According to court records, at the time of the crime, FERGUSON was serving a 10-year federal sentence for assault on a postal employee with the intent to rob. He had a 1998 California state felony conviction for assault with a firearm.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.