Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Corrections Officer Markeith Council Charged with Manslaughter

A Wake County corrections officer who faces charges of voluntary manslaughter in relation to an incident in which an inmate died defended himself in court Wednesday.

Markeith Council, 27, told the court he had a conversation with Shon Demetrius McClain some time before the incident while Council was handing out sheets.

Council testified, "McLain said, 'You almost shoved my [expletive] hand in this trap.' Well, I said, 'If you didn't want your hand in the [expletive] trap, get your hands out of the trap.'"

Council said people started urging McClain, 40, to fight during the part the surveillance video shows. Council said he called McClain over.

"I said, 'Don't let your friends boost you up, pump you up,'" Council recalled. "I said, 'This is not the place to be tough.'"

Council said he thought he was going to be punched when McClain raised his hand. He said he didn't have enough time to call for help.

Council said his goal is to be a warden and is on track to be a sergeant. He is now a master detention officer, and is on suspension.

A video released in court Tuesday shows a fatal altercation between Council and an inmate in June. Court documents show Council was involved an incident with  McClain at the Wake County Detention Center June 4.

Council was indicted in August and turned himself into the Wake County Detention Center soon after.

McClain died from blunt force trauma to the head, neck, spinal and brain, damage that was sustained during the fight with Council, according to an autopsy. The inmate died 13 days after the incident.

McClain was in jail on misdemeanor drug charges when the assault occurred. According to the Department of Public Safety, McClain's convictions include possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering, larceny, indecent liberty with a child, failing to register as a sex offender and obstructing justice.

The jury deliberated for part of the day Wednesday but adjourned until 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

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