Ten Inmates Charged With Hate Crimes After White Prisoners Beaten in Lafourche Jail

Thomas Planchet, WWL-TV (New Orleans), March 25, 2009

Ten inmates have been charged with hate crimes after two incidents that left a couple of white prisoners beaten unconscious in the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.

Sheriff Craig Webre said that internal investigation showed that the attacks, which occurred on Monday, March 10 and Friday, March 13, were motivated solely by race. He said the investigation showed that a 28-year-old inmate, James Ingram, had made a statement that several white boys had to leave the cellblock “on their own or through the hospital.”

According to the investigation, two inmates were beaten by a gang of eight shortly before midnight in the first attack and three were beaten by a group of seven prisoners in the second instance. {snip}

Webre said one of the main issues facing the Detention Center is overcrowding. He said that the facility has a maximum population of 245 and that as many as 100 inmates have been parceled out to nearby parishes.

Those charged in the beatings include:

– Antoine Baptiste (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Prentiss Davis (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Scottywade Gisclair (W/M, {snip}), {snip}

– James Hester (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– James Ingram (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Trent Robertson (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Cadarren Turner (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Ryan Zeringue (W/M, {snip}), {snip}

– Calvin Hester (B/M, {snip}), {snip}

Webre said two of those charged were white prisoners who claim they were intimidated into joining the beating or face a similar fate.

Late Tuesday afternoon investigators also announced 44-year old Terry Wheaton (B/M, DOB 10/5/1964) would be charged with being a principle to hate crimes and 2nd degree battery. Investigators say Wheaton acted as the ringleader and organizer of the attacks on inmates, creating his own “gang”.

{snip}

The Sheriff’s Office said that the hate crime charges stem from the fact that the group ‘banded together’ to attack their victims.

[Editor’s Note: A video accompanies the original story here.]

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