One cool afternoon in February of 2015, at Elmore Correctional Facility, in the middle of the recreation yard, stands a group of Alabama inmates on the basketball court, dribbling a ball, picking teams. As the ball sounds off while connecting to the black, asphalt,” phlap,phlap, phlap “, and names are called as they are picked to play on the teams ,ready to prove who is the yards Kobe Bryant you would of heard a commotion in front of the dormitories that house 196 inmates. That commotion quickly turning from an argument to an all out fight for William Shepeard’s life. A fight that this 33 year old sadly lost.
On this cool afternoon, as William Shepeard lay in his own blood upon a rough and rocky, black asphalt breathing his last breath, little did the Warden ,(Joseph Headly), know that his new position would be one that marked him as the ” Grim Reaper”of ADOC.
Following the death of Shepeard, Elmore Correctional Facility quickly gained the reputation of “baby Holman” compared to Alabama’s maximum-security prison Holman (the slaughter house) , located in Atmore Alabama, due to the frequent stabbings taking place in the compound.
Warden Joseph Headley, was very aware of the high rate of violence in his prison during this time, but was known to turn a blind eye and allow these acts of violence to occur. Some officers, that no longer work at Elmore, have stated that Warden Headley had a policy in sending inmates not only back into the prison population, but the same dormitories, after altercations and even after being stabbed, with the inmate that had attacked the other.
Approximately one year later in March of 2016, in one of Elmore’s dormitories inmates gathered in front of a television watching a program. Suddenly two inmates become combative, one wielding a makeshift knife, the other fighting back with only his hands. After a few minutes of combat , the inmate without a weapon, crawls towards the officer cubical, leaving a trail of his blood, and attempting to find help. But no officer is to be found in time enough to save the life of 31st year old Johnny Spears.
Six-month later in the same dormitory,a fight occurs early one morning. An officer intervenes and separates the two inmates, and escorts these men to the shift supervisor. Shortly after the two inmates return to the dormitory.
Hours later one of the inmates involved in the earlier altercation makes a decision to finish the previous fight. He takes a makeshift knife and attacks 24th year old Davieon Williams, who was now sleeping, and stabs him multiple times ,ending his life just months before he was due to return home.
Again, Davieon Williams attempted to find refuge and help as he ran looking for an officer that was not in the dormitory.
Then on a laid back cool day in February of 2017, officers at Elmore Correctional Facility, allegedly find the body of 41 year old David Sanders, who is unresponsive but breathing. Sanders was taken approximately 1/8 of a mile to Staton Health Care, where he was flown to a local hospital, and later died. Alabama Department of Corrections spokes person Bob Horton later released that Sanders was allegedly beaten by four other inmates.
However reports from confidential sources that work at Elmore Correctional Facility state that no officers were inside the dormitory when Sanders was allegedly attacked, and other inmates brought to the attention of an ADOC official that Sanders was in need of medical attention.
Next approximately ten days after Sanders unexplained death by beating of four other inmates, an altercation occurs yet again in one of “Hell-more’s”dormitories. Officers gathered outside on the asphalt basketball court respond to a medical call where an inmate was bleeding from multiple stab wombs.
De Marko Carlisle was flown to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In the story above I have painted the picture of a medium security prison that has earned its notorious name “Hell-more”. This may sound like a script straight out of Hollywood’s hottest prison movies, but it’s a reality for the men confined behind these walls. Men that made choices that were rewarded by being removed from society to be rehabilitated. Instead of rehabilitation, and education they learn only how to survive the grasp of the ” Grim Reaper “.
“HOW MANY MORE BODIES DO YOU NEED”