ShareThis Page
Home

Inmate charged in strangulation of cellmate

Paul Peirce
| Friday, March 5, 2010

A 19-year-old state prison inmate from Delaware County was charged Thursday with using a bed sheet to strangle his cell mate Sunday at a prison in Indiana County.

State police charged William Brown of Upper Darby with strangling Jayson Stewart, 29, of Arnold, at the State Correctional Institution at Pine Grove in White Township.

Brown was arraigned on charges of criminal homicide and aggravated assault by video conference before Clymer District Judge George Thachik. Brown was moved to the state prison in Somerset after the murder.

Trooper Deana Kirkland alleges the two prisoners got into an argument. Brown cut Stewart's face with a razor blade and tried to put a sock in his mouth to try to suffocate him, police allege. When that didn't work, Brown attempted to suffocate Stewart with a pillow, police said in an affidavit of probable cause.

Brown then wrapped a sheet around Stewart's neck, tied it and pulled on it until Stewart died, police said.

Police said the pair had been cell mates for three days in the restricted housing unit.

Stewart, 29, who was serving a two- to four-year sentence for criminal conspiracy, was found dead in his cell around 2:35 a.m.

Brown is serving 20 to 40 years after being convicted of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy and possessing instruments of crime during a botched robbery on Feb. 20, 2008, in Philadelphia, court records show.

According to news accounts of the robbery, Brown and an accomplice, Marquis Alford, now 20, of Philadelphia, attempted to rob a man. When the 22-year-old victim refused to empty his pockets, Brown shot him in the shoulder. Police caught the pair attempting to rob a second man nearby.

The pair shot at police as they fled. Alford, who was injured when police returned fire, was captured at the scene. Brown was captured later.

Alford is serving a seven- to 15-year sentence at Pine Grove for the robbery. Brown is appealing his sentence to state Superior Court.

Thachik has scheduled Brown's preliminary hearing for April 20.

State police were summoned Tuesday to the prison to investigate an unrelated assault against a corrections officer.

Police allege an unnamed 19-year-old inmate threw a cup of an unknown liquid on the officer as he was dispensing medication to an inmate.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me