4th officer goes on trial in Alabama inmate death


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The last of four former correctional officers charged in the beating death of an Alabama inmate goes on trial Monday in Montgomery.

Former Ventress prison officer Joseph Sanders is charged with violating inmate Rocrast Mack's rights by aiding in the beating, conspiring with others to cover up how Mack died, and obstructing justice. The other three former officers have either pleaded guilty or been convicted, and all three are awaiting sentencing.

Defense attorney Jim Parkman says he intends to show that Sanders' role has been overstated by federal prosecutors and that he never assaulted the inmate. Prosecutors say they intend to show that Sanders hit Mack several times with a baton while he was offering no resistance and that he lied during the initial investigation.

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