Local/State

Wake County jailer trial guilty of involuntary manslaughter, sentenced to 90 days in jail

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The jury in the trial of a corrections officer facing charges in the death of an inmate has found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Immediately after the verdict, Markeith Council was sentenced to 90 days in the Wake County Jail and three years of probation.

Earlier in the day, jury members asked for the legal definitions of manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and not guilty.

The trial was turned over to the jurors for deliberations Wednesday evening, not long after Council took the stand. He is charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with 40-year-old Shon McClain's death.

The jury also requested a copy of McClain's autopsy report when deliberations resumed Thursday morning and asked to see the surveillance video again that showed an encounter between Council and McClain inside the Wake County Jail on June 4.

Jurors gathered around the screen in the courtroom Thursday to view it closely. They were originally shown the surveillance video during testimony Tuesday.

The district attorney has said that the video makes the case very unique, because it allows jurors to have a first hand look at the incident.

The video, which did not include audio, showed McClain with a towel around his neck, approaching Council. The two began to argue and Council was seen pushing McClain, who fell to the floor, then got back up and moved toward the jailer.

On Wednesday, Council testified that McClain was mad at him from an earlier incident when McClain claimed his hand was nearly shut in a trap door.

McClain was seen on the video raising his hands and then swinging at Council. The corrections officer threw McClain to the concrete floor, then picked him up and did it again -- head first.

McClain never regained consciousness and was on life support for almost two weeks at WakeMed before he died.

According to his autopsy, he died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

On the stand Wednesday, Council said he didn't intend to thrown McClain on his head or to injure him so seriously.

He said it all happened so fast that all he could think of was he had just been assaulted and had to rely on his training.

"I've got to get him off of me and get him secured, because I'm in dorm with 55 other inmates so my mindset is I've got to get him secured and get my head up," Council said.

Council also told jurors he hopes to someday be a warden, and that he is a father of three. His wife, who is pregnant, is a Raleigh police officer.

According to court documents, McClain was in jail on charges of drinking at a Raleigh bus station and possession of paraphernalia. He was from Apex.

See It On TV | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | Send us photos
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

(Copyright ©2014 WTVD-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Get more Local/State »


Tags:
north carolina news, wake county news, raleigh news, local/state
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement