by Christopher Zoukis

A North Carolina guard was ordered to serve three months in jail after being found guilty of beating to death a prisoner who had been arrested on an open container charge and minor drug violation.

Video footage from the Wake County Detention Center showed guard Markeith Council, 28, pick up Shon Demetrius McClain and slam him head-first into the floor, twice, after a brief altercation.

Council, a former college football player, is 6’3” and weighs 290 pounds; McClain was 5’6” and weighed 145 pounds. McClain died 13 days after the June 4, 2013 incident from blunt force trauma to his head.

A jury found Council guilty of involuntary manslaughter in December 2013 after viewing the video and hearing testimony from witnesses. [See: PLN, Sept. 2014, p.56].

Council claimed that he was worried about “what was going on around [him],” and “didn’t have time” to reach for his pepper spray when subduing McClain.


About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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