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Guard at Mt. Sterling prison pleads Guilty in inmate's death

Guard at Mt. Sterling prison pleads Guilty in inmate's death

1 month ago by Scott Hardy

Willie Hedden to be sentenced in July

A Mount Sterling man, one of three employees of the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling charged in the May 2018 assault of an inmate that led to his death, has changed his Not Guilty plea.

Willie Hedden pleaded Guilty Tuesday via video at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Springfield. Hedden pleaded Guilty to Federal counts of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct. Hedden admitted taking part in the May 17, 2018 beating of inmate Larry Earvin. Earvin suffered numerous injuries including a punctured colon and broken ribs, and died a month later. Hedden also admitted that he falsified a prison report and lied to the Illinois State Police about the incident, and talked a friend and fellow prison employee into deleting a text message where Hedden admitted assaulting Earvin. Two other prison employees charged in the attack, Todd Sheffler of Mendon and Alex Banta of Quincy, were also in court Tuesday. A June 28th trial date was set for both on counts similar to Hedden. Sheffler and Banta also face two counts of obstruction.

Hedden is set to be sentenced July 21st, and could get up to life in prison.

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