PRISONER DIES AFTER BEING RESTRAINED

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
CARLA CROWDER
News staff writer
A prisoner at Donaldson Correctional Facility died after being restrained by prison officers, officials said Monday.

Charles Agee, 47, suffered fatal injuries Friday when he was sprayed with a chemical agent, then subdued in the prison's medical clinic.

His death "is directly related to the restraint," said Jefferson County Coroner Jay Glass. His office is performing an autopsy on Agee, and the full results should be available in about a week.

Agee, from Fairfield, was serving a 25-year-sentence for murder. He also had convictions for robbery and assault. Originally charged with capital murder in the slaying of a 67-year-old Missouri man during a 1981 holdup at a Birmingham adult bookstore, Agee pleaded guilty to the lesser charge after his first trial ended in a mistrial.

Agee, who was under treatment for mental illness, picked up the assault convictions while in prison, records show.

The Department of Corrections is investigating the death. "If this is unnecessary use of force, it won't be tolerated," said prisons spokesman Brian Corbett.

The department had no policy regarding the restraint or use of force on inmates. But one is being formulated as part of an updating of all department policies, Corbett said.

In another prison incident, the department has wrapped up an investigation into an incident last year involving use of force against an inmate.

Officials found that Kenneth Pierce, then an officer at St. Clair Correctional Facility, used unnecessary force against an inmate, Corbett
said Monday.

Pierce was transferred to Limestone prison pending the outcome of the investigation. Corrections Commissioner Donal Campbell will decide whether to suspend, demote or terminate Pierce, Corbett said.

E-mail: ccrowder@bhamnews.com


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