July 26, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
65°F
test

Former Lorain County Jail guard gets 18 months for attacking inmate

Marlon Taylor

Marlon Taylor

Former Lorain County Jail guard Marlon Taylor was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for beating former jail inmate Jordan Sand in 2012.

Jack Bradley, Taylor’s lawyer, said he had hoped for a lesser sentence, but U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson wanted to make an example of Taylor for other corrections officers and law-enforcement officials who might be tempted to abuse their authority.

“She said she was giving him one month for each strike that she saw Marlon make on the video,” Bradley said. “She saw 18 blows.”

He said Taylor had taken responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to a federal charge of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Taylor, a longtime corrections officer, was helping another jail employee distribute medication when the then-18-year-old Sand refused to take his antidepressants.

An angry Taylor ordered Sand to gather his things because he was taking him to “the hole,” according to audio recordings of part of the incident. Taylor, 50, can also be heard cursing at Sand, who was serving out a juvenile sentence at the jail, and repeatedly saying “I dare you” to the inmate.

Video showed the two men pass through a security door and Taylor slam Sand against the glass of a security control room.

They then walked away from the control room and began talking. On the video Taylor can be seen punching Sand, driving him back against a wall and a bench before Sand fell to the ground. He curled into a fetal position as Taylor continued to strike him.

The beating lasted about 30 seconds before other guards arrived and took Sand away.

Taylor, who was fired by Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, initially told investigators that Sand had threatened to fight him, but in court documents filed before the sentencing prosecutors indicated that Sand hadn’t taken any aggressive action.

“(Sand) had not made any aggressive movements and his hands were at his sides when the defendant began his assault,” prosecutors wrote. “As the video shows, the defendant then struck (Sand) repeatedly with his hand and elbow, knocking him to the ground. (Sand) remained in a defensive posture and did not strike or attempt to strike the defendant at any time.”

But Capt. Jack Hammond, who oversees the Lorain County Jail, wrote in a letter to Pearson that he thought Sand shared some of the blame for the incident.

“There were no serious injuries sustained by the victim and while the actions of Marlon Taylor were not and are not justified, the victim is not without responsibility in my opinion,” Hammond wrote. “This young man is unfortunately typical of many of the young men that are incarcerated by our society today. Disrespectful, challenging, defiant, without guidance and no respect for the laws of society or those in the position of authority.”

Hammond and several other supporters urged the judge to give Taylor probation. Hammond wrote that Taylor has lost his livelihood, may lose his house and has been the subject of negative public opinion because of the case.

“Being involved in the Criminal Justice System for many years, if the tables were turned and Mr. Sand had been the aggressor and Mr. Taylor the victim, would Mr. Sand have paid the same price for those actions?” Hammond wrote.

Prosecutors had urged a sentence of between 12 and 18 months in prison and U.S. Attorney for Northern Ohio Steven Dettelbach said in a news release that Taylor needed to be held accountable.

“The vast majority of law enforcement officials do a great job,” Dettelbach said. “When someone abuses the power and privileges of their office, however, they can and will be held accountable.”

Bradley said Taylor, who will report to prison at a later date, has two weeks to decide whether he will appeal the sentence.

Sand, who was paid $50,000 to settle a lawsuit against Lorain County, is on probation for an unrelated robbery conviction for an incident in which he was armed with a knife.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.

  • It has to stop

    Too bad the guard wasn’t able to control his temper when he beat this scumbag. He loses his job and goes to prison while the scumbag gets a 50k payday from the taxpayers then goes out a couple months later and commits aggravated robbery. He is found guilty and does……no jail time. Can’t say it’s all Sand’s fault though, wasn’t like he exactly had a role model for a father growing up.

    • Mark B

      You call Sands a scumbag , but yet the ex guard is no better now , he is a Con and going to be a Ex-Con so he is just as much a scumbag. whether you are a Cop or a CO , you got to be held to a higher standard. Who know maybe there will be a bigger CO where he serves his time and maybe they will put a A$$ whoopin on him Karma plays in strange ways .

      • It has to stop

        No problem with what you are saying but still think the justice system is beyond screwed up where you have a scum bag like Sands who shortly gets out commits an armed robbery and is given a slap on the wrist.
        Just like the idiot who was punched by an EPD officer, we knew that we would be hearing from him again and it didn’t take long before he was front page news locked up in his bathroom shoving coke up his nose it won’t take long before Sands does the same because of the joke the Lorain County Justice system is.

        • Mark B

          Who is to say that this CO will not get out of the slammer and re-offend too.
          If the Lorain county courts would really get tough on crime then crime would decrease, start handing out the Max for EVERY offence and Elyria and Lorain county would garner the reputation that this is not the place you want to be a gangsta or any type of criminal. The Slaps on the wrist have been going on way too long and well look at Elyria and Lorain County.

  • nomokids

    Wouldn’t justice be served if The System would start handing out these sentences to PARENTS who beat their children needlessly!?

    • Mark B

      Maybe if the parents would start punishing their kids when they do wrong and taking responsibility for their actions maybe many would be kept out of the justice system.

  • BITTERCLINGER36

    Wow! There is no defending the co’s actions, he was wrong and there had to be a price to pay, but 18months in prison? Wow! From my experience had the scumbag beat up the co he would not have gotten that much time and it would certainly never reach the Federal level. If you doubt this, just get on Lorain County’s common pleas site and look through random cases and the outcomes of criminal cases………you may not be happy with what you see.

    • Razorback Twou

      The case went Federal because Lorain County will not police their own. This was a civil rights case where an adult beat a child. I think the CO earned every minute of the time he got. A wake up call to other COs who think they own the world.

      • Tommy Peel

        The CO went overboard. He not only assaulted the inmate, but he tried to lie about it. Guards like him gives all guards a bad name.

  • DonMega

    Lets see how tough this CO is in prison.Its easy to beat up people when you are the police.

  • Jamie Smith

    Right on Mark B….Obviously “It has to stop” has some inside info on Sands. I do hope Sands gets his life on track with that 50K.

    • E.t

      He is a drug addict that money is gone up his arm fyi

  • E.t

    If only you all knew the whole story and one just the one side u would see he does not desurve 18 month’s! ! None of you have worked as cos in the stressful work place like this working with scumbags like sand and even worst so till you have keep comments to self!

    • nomokids

      The whole story? There are always two sides. But to suggest stress as an excuse is lame. Every job has stress. You know that going into the job. It is not a COs job to inflect punishment. The CO is not to punish the inmate. The inmate’s punishment is serving his time and other consequences set by the judge. The CO’s job is to make sure the inmate is safe. These are points taught in first day orientation and trainings for corrections. If a CO went into this job not understanding empathy, mental health issues, ethnic and socio-economic disparity, then he didn’t belong there. You call the inmates ‘scumbags’. Exactly who did he think he would be working with?

    • Mark B

      If you cant control yourself in a stressful job then you need to seek other work. Just the same if you cant take the sight of blood , you don’t work in the medical field. You know what is in store for you when you take such a job. it is not a place for people with a short fuse.

      • Bill

        Tell that to the millions of police, firefighters, nurses and co’s who knew going into the job of the long hours, hard work, understaffed and the stress and yet somehow all of that somehow still manages to overcome you regardless of what you knew prior to taking on the job.