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Jury convicts 1 prison guard in inmate deaths, hung on 2nd

Larry Earvin
This undated file photo provided by the Illinois Department of Corrections shows Larry Earvin, a former inmate at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling, Ill. On Monday, April 25, 2022, jurors convicted an Illinois Department of Corrections officer for violating the civil rights of Earvin, an inmate brutally beaten at a western Illinois prison in 2018, but could not reach a verdict against a superior.

SPRINGFIELD — Jurors have convicted an Illinois Department of Corrections officer for violating the civil rights of an inmate brutally beaten at a western Illinois prison in 2018, but could not reach a verdict against a superior.

Thirty-year-old Alex Banta, of Quincy, was convicted Monday after a four-week trial in U.S. District Court of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, obstruction of an investigation, falsification of documents and misleading conduct. He faces up to life in prison.

But the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the same charges against 53-year-old Lt. Todd Sheffler, of Mendon. His attorney expects the government to re-try him.

A federal prosecutor says the state prison guards brutally beat a handcuffed 65-year-old inmate and conspired to cover it up. They were charged with civil rights violations and falsifying records in the May 17, 2018 beating of Larry Earvin at Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling.

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Associated Press

Associated Press

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