The Alabama prison inmate accused of raping and torturing another prisoner to death had been reported for nine previous physical and sexual assaults – but was still allowed to live in the general prison population, according to a new report.
Prison inmate Daniel Williams’ family learned that he was hospitalized on October 25, just weeks before the 22-year-old was scheduled to be released. The warden at Staton Prison in Elmore County told the family that Williams was taken to the hospital following a drug overdose.
Williams, a father of two young children, died on Nov. 9, after his family took him off of life support — the day he was supposed to be released from prison.
As his loved ones continued to search for answers, facts emerged that contradicted the story prison officials gave the family.
Williams’ family now believes he was kidnapped within the prison and badly beaten until he died.
Carla Crowder, executive director of the legal advocacy nonprofit Alabama Appleseed, appeared before the Alabama Prison Oversight Committee to discuss the man suspected of orchestrating the attack on Williams.
“The 38-year-old suspect in this kidnapping, rape and torture was involved in nine instances of sex assault, rape and stabbing since 2017 in ADOC [Alabama Department of Corrections] while incarcerated,” said Crowder, according to AL.com. “There is no documentation that he was placed in segregation for any of these assaults.”
Among the accusations leveled at the unidentified inmate are that he participated in a prison gang rape, threatened to kill an inmate, sexually assaulted several other people and chased a man through the prison “harassing him daily for sex,” according to AL.com.
In October, a prison warden signed off on the inmate being placed in an open bay dorm.
“Nine days later, 22-year-old Daniel Williams … was found, according to ADOC, unresponsive on this inmate’s assigned bed,” Crowder said.
There were multiple instances of the inmate being plausibly accused of stabbing other inmates. He was eventually convicted for one of the instances but it was eight years after the event took place and little effort was made to keep him from roaming the prison, according to AL.com.
The inmate had 18 disciplinary charges between 2012 and 2018 but by the time of Williams’ death, it had been years since he’d faced any kind of formal charge that would obstruct his access to others.
Even after Williams was declared dead, the inmate was not formally charged with any misconduct. Rather, the guards recorded the incident as an “enemies report” – something listed as an interpersonal conflict between inmates, instead of an assault.
This was also true for some of the previous sexual assaults he’d been accused of.
“ADOC staff received numerous reports of rampant sexual violence against other incarcerated men but failed to take disciplinary measures that would have resulted in [the suspect] being placed in segregation,” said Crowder, according to AL.com.
“[Williams’ death] could have been prevented by the State of Alabama,” she said. “Instead, choices were made over and over again to take no investigative or corrective action in numerous cases of sexual assault at five different prisons.”