A former jail guard convicted of beating an inmate at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Wednesday morning for his role in assaulting the inmate and then trying to cover-up the incident.

“The defendant abused his authority and violently assaulted and injured an inmate without justification,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a press release. “This sentence makes clear that no one is above the law, and that when corrections officials violate the civil rights of people held in our jails and prisons they will be held accountable.”

Hawaii Community Correctional Center located in Hilo.
Another former jail guard was sentenced for the beating of an inmate at the Hilo jail. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Jason Tagaloa was convicted in July for his role in the conspiracy and has been held in custody since then. Tagaloa, along with former adult corrections officers Craig Pinkney, Jonathan Taum and Jordan DeMattos assaulted an inmate in the jail’s recreation yard in 2015. The ACOs “kicked the inmate in the head and body while he was lying face-down in a pool of his own blood,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

The inmate, identified only as “Inmate 1” in court documents, had a broken nose, jaw and eye socket. The guards then tried to cover up the abuse. They were eventually fired by the state Department of Public Safety.

Taum was sentenced in November to 12 years in prison. Pinkney is expected to be sentenced Jan. 5. DeMattos pleaded guilty in 2020 and cooperated with the government in the case against the three other ACOs. He’s expected to be sentenced Jan. 17.

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