BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) -- Four former corrections officers at an eastern Missouri prison are facing criminal charges -- three accused of abusing inmates and one for alleged sexual contact with a convicted killer.
The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Missouri reported Thursday that the cases stem from separate investigations at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, resulting in charges filed in June.
Inmate abuse charges were filed against David Shipley, 36, of Farmington; Charles Thomas, 58, of Ste. Genevieve; and Jerry Morgan, 39, of De Soto. Shawna Barton, 37, of Farmington, was charged with sexual contact with an inmate.
Shipley's attorney, Jason Tilley, said he was confident that Shipley will be exonerated once the case goes to court. Thomas, Morgan and Barton do not have listed attorneys.
Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman David Owen confirmed that all four corrections officers are no longer with the department, but he declined further comment. All four are free on bond. Court arraignments are scheduled over the next month.
A probable cause statement said video footage from 2012 showed Shipley punching an inmate in the face while the inmate was restrained. A staff witness reported that Shipley slammed the inmate's head into a door frame and head-butted him.
Morgan is accused of choking an inmate and pushing him into a cell, causing the inmate's head to strike a wall, in June 2013. Authorities say Thomas struck an inmate in the face in July 2013.
Barton and a man serving time for second-degree murder allegedly had sexual contact several times from September through January in an employee break room.
The prison in Bonne Terre is maximum-security. It is where the state performs executions.