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Sixth Murder at Sterling Triggers Investigation of Troubled Prison

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A Facebook photo of Cody Gray.
The recent murder of an inmate at the Sterling Correctional Facility -- the sixth homicide at the state's largest prison since 2010 -- has prompted Colorado Department of Corrections executive director Rick Raemisch to promise an "intensive" investigation into the circumstances of the death. The killing comes in the wake of claims that prison staff at Sterling have repeatedly placed at-risk prisoners, particularly sex offenders, in life-threatening situations.

"This is our house," Raemisch said in an interview with Westword yesterday morning. "These people are our responsibility."

See also: Sterling Prison Murders Blamed on Staff Indifference, Misconduct

A DOC spokeswoman confirmed late Monday that the death of Cody Gray, 32, who was serving a life sentence for sexual assault, "appears to be a homicide." It's the first such death in the system since Raemisch took over as chief last year but seems to fit a larger pattern at Sterling, which houses close to 2,500 inmates, from short-term, minimum-security offenders to high-security prisoners serving long sentences.

Rick Raemisch.
As we reported just a few weeks ago, several inmates and their families have alleged that guards at Sterling have ignored threats made against certain prisoners and have even celled deadly enemies together in order to punish them or "teach them a lesson," fully expecting violence to erupt. Three of the inmates killed there during a two-and-a-half-year period were serving time for crimes against children, and one had been attacked before by the same inmate who killed him, after the assailant protested to staff about being celled with a child molester.

Early reports indicate Gray's death may be gang-related. In 2008, Gray was jailed on drug charges in Mesa County when another inmate accused him of rape. Two years later, Gray was convicted of three sexual assault counts and sentenced to 48 years to life.

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The Sterling Correctional Facility.
Raemisch says he told his executive staff he wants a full review of how prisoners are classified and known risks evaluated at Sterling: "We have to figure out what we can do better to protect people from harm, if possible."

Raemisch's predecessor, Tom Clements, also ordered an internal review of operations at Sterling back in 2011, but the results of that investigation have not been released.



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61 comments
brittanyautumn
brittanyautumn

I will always love you Cody! You will always have a special place in my heart. Since we were just kids I adored you. My heart is broken and I know you were innocent. All I have left is the memories to treasure until we can see each other again.

Jen Salankey
Jen Salankey

Glad they took care of what the justice system couldn't, last one killed I heard was a chomo so...........I think it's awesome!

Connor Glover
Connor Glover

I live in Sterling, the guards here generally suck.

Justin Kershman
Justin Kershman

They're cho mos...they need the shit beat outta them!

David Madrid
David Madrid

Just let them run around the prison killing each other and save our tax $

Daniel Pinkerton
Daniel Pinkerton

I'm pretty tired of seeing people stealing paper towels from the restroom at the Barnes and Noble in Westminster! When will this madness end?

Mark Prager
Mark Prager

Not really a surprise since all of the budget cuts for prisons over the last few years. .

Jennifer Carpentier Van Zutphen
Jennifer Carpentier Van Zutphen

The state has enough problems... We should protect them ONLY until they are convicted... Once a felon in prison, they should be on their own... These criminals are locked up to protect society... Its their problem if something happens to them behind bars... Follow the rules on the outside so you don't lose your privileges in life..bitches~

Jenevieve Beaulieu
Jenevieve Beaulieu

Until we treat our veterans better than we treat prisoners, who friggin cares.. Not me! Don't commit crimes and go to prison, everybody has a choice..

Roberta Richardson
Roberta Richardson

A prison sentence should be served but murder in prison is just as wrong as murder in your home or on the street; get a grip.

Danni Malone
Danni Malone

Why are criminals under the states care? And were the crimes those criminals commited bad enough that anyof us should care. Yes I feel bad for the families that lost a member but they lost that member when they commited crimes that landed them in prison.

Natalia Ernest Garcia
Natalia Ernest Garcia

and what about all the people unjust fully put in prison. were in America it happens all the fucking time. do they deserve to dye before someone discovers they're innocent years later !? Your serving a sentence that's your penalty not dying! For god sake people the news disgusts me more and more every day!

Max Padilla
Max Padilla

What do you expect when you put men in cages?

Marie Trujillo
Marie Trujillo

No let them kill each other save some tax $$$$ \U0001f606

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

When bad jailers/deputies contribute to these deaths, they, too, become criminals of the worst kind.

Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez

Nobody cares thur only sex offenders...

James Montoya
James Montoya

@ nathan embree prison is very racially segregated by the doing of the convict's

Val Justin G
Val Justin G

I understand that they put themselves there, but some criminals are put in prison with more violent offenders, some are doing life and don't care about their life and some are just doing certain amount of time and do care about their life and plans of bettering themselves. The point is they need to separate the more violent offenders in some type of segregation.

Jeffrey Von Stetten
Jeffrey Von Stetten

I think depending on the crime it should be death, work detail, or drug experimentation with therapy goals+work detail. These guys eat better than some veterans and that's the real crime

Carlos Perez
Carlos Perez

I'd rather pay for their burial then have to pay for them to be taken care of for the next 50 or 60 years

Tony Tornovish
Tony Tornovish

F*** all you crackers? Wow, real genius on display here.

Tony Tornovish
Tony Tornovish

A mistake doesn't land you in prison. The willful decision to disregard and break the law lands you in prison. Grow up.

Nathan Embree
Nathan Embree

Is everyone a racist jerk like you in the "pins?"

Idiocy
Idiocy

Alexandra...like Idiocy, you'll fit fight in.

Idiocy
Idiocy

Prisons are a disgrace.

Samuel Hulin
Samuel Hulin

Although I agree with what you said, it doesn't make it right to take away a person's right and ability to defend themselves and then not defend them from other inmates. It is inhuman. The prison needs to do their job and that totally includes protecting the people they are preventing from protecting themselves.

Samuel Hulin
Samuel Hulin

I hope you never make a mistake in your life. You know, like having a couple of glasses of wine and go for a drive. If the worst happened, that could end you up in prison. It is inhuman to take away a person's right and ability to defend themselves and then allow others to harm them. You might as well chain someone to a table and torture them to death. We don't do things like that. Criminals act that way, that is why they are separated from society. We have to be better than the people we are locking up, and yes that does include treating them as human beings. They have mothers, fathers, sisters...

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

What does this story have to do with pot shops, mug shots or juggalos? I thought that was all WW wrote about anymore...

Jonah Menzies
Jonah Menzies

You also realize that its the very same taxpayers that foot the bill for their burial and to settle any possible lawsuits arising from alleged negligence on the authorities' part. Pinche pendejo.

Brenda Scaturro
Brenda Scaturro

Nope! Prison has it's own form of justice for sex offenders...

Lido Britton
Lido Britton

F*** all you crackers you don't know what the pins like..str8 animals

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

Typically those harmed while in prison are snitches, chomos, or they owe someone something. It's not a playground. Fact is, it's the worst neighborhood one can live in.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

They are under the state's care because the state had taken over their lives....you know, prison.

Let's play a game:  Name a part of the constitution that is in direct opposition to you.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

So you speak for everyone?  What a delusion of grandeur. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Spoken like the baby republicanazi jeeeEEEeeezzzussssss.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Spoken by someone that doesn't even know how wrong they are.

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