User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


52° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Lawsuit Claims DOC Also Liable For Officer's Death

April 27, 2012, 6:05 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Lawsuit Claims DOC Also Liable For Officer's Death
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Two inmates have been sentenced to die for killing Correctional Officer Ron 'RJ' Johnson during a failed prison escape last year, but Johnson's widow says they aren't the only ones responsible.

A lawsuit filed Friday afternoon by Johnson's estate claims Department of Corrections officials ignored policy by housing inmates Rodney Berget and Eric Robert in less-secure areas even though they were maximum security prisoners.

In a 24-page lawsuit, Johnson's widow claims the Department of Corrections not only moved inmates Berget and Robert out of the maximum security area of the prison, but claims that DOC staff knew the pair were plotting an escape attempt that involved killing an officer.

Berget and Robert were some of the most dangerous criminals housed at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Robert had a 903-page file at the prison and a previous escape attempt. Berget had been in and out of the penitentiary since he was 15 and had at least seven escapes or attempted escapes on his record. That's why the inmates were classified as maximum security risks, according to the lawsuit.

However, Berget and Robert were not housed in a maximum security facility the day they tried to break out of prison by killing Correctional Officer Johnson. Both inmates were allowed to work jobs throughout the prison and had free movement within the walls.

The lawsuit says Berget and Robert were allowed to be housed in a less-secure facility and have jobs because they were having a difficult time 'adjusting' to the maximum security facility.

This was a violation of Department of Corrections policy, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit goes on to say DOC officials simply portrayed Johnson's murder as a tragic anomaly and something that could have never been predicted or prevented.

The lawsuit also says that DOC staff members had knowledge that both inmates were planning a murder and escape.  One portion of the lawsuit even says as early as 2008, during a hearing for Robert's request to reduce his 80-year prison sentence, it was learned that the inmate had been plotting to kill a prison employee during an escape.

The lawsuit also says that the after-incident report that was prepared by the DOC that says all policy and procedures were followed the day Johnson was killed misrepresents the true facts that led up to the correctional officer’s death and the attempted escape.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View news

You may also like

Body Of Missing Realtor Found At Arrowhead Park

10/18/2014 3:22 PM

The body of a missing Sioux Falls realtor has been found.

Full Story
SFPD Search For Missing Realtor

10/18/2014 11:45 AM

The Sioux Falls Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing woman.

Full Story
UPDATE: Two People Dead In SF Crash

10/17/2014 9:52 PM

Two people are dead after a two vehicle crash on Friday night in Sioux Falls.

Full Story
Body Of Pam Kneip Found After Search

10/18/2014 10:00 PM

Hundreds of volunteers gathered by an entrance at Arrowhead Park Saturday as police conducted a search for a missing woman.  The friends, family ...

Full Story | Watch
Police Release Names In Deadly Sioux Falls Crash

10/18/2014 8:19 PM

Police say two Sioux Falls men died in a crash Friday evening in the western part of the city.

Full Story


Events