At this point, there are still more unanswered than answered questions about the assault on Cpl. Zane Mathis in the state prison over the weekend.
Mathis was attacked in the Jameson Annex on Saturday evening, allegedly, by a maximum-security inmate named Carlos Green. Mathis was still hospitalized Monday, having suffered a broken jaw and several cuts to the head from being punched by Mr. Green.
The DOC and DCI have been mum on details beyond that, saying the case is an open investigation. Green hasn’t been charged yet.
Among the things we don’t know:
- Where did the assault take place? It was in Jameson Annex, but did the attack take place in or outside Green’s cell? Was he being taken from one place to the other? Does he share a cell with someone else?
- What lead up to the attack? DOC spokesperson Michael Winder said Monday that the last two inmate-on-staff attacks designated as “serious” involved inmates who didn’t want to be handcuffed. Was that Green’s issue? Was he arguing with Cpl. Mathis about something?
-Did Mathis use his body alarm or radio to alert his coworkers? Since the murder of Senior Corrections Officer Ron “R.J.” Johnson in 2011, all staffers have been required to wear body alarms. IN the event of an attack, the idea is that the staffer can hit the alarm and anyone anywhere nearby would hear it and respond.
- Was the assault captured on camera? More than 100 additional cameras were placed throughout the prison grounds after Johnson murder. You might recall that the murder itself took place in the Pheasantland Industries building outside the eye of the security cameras. The only video from the attack showed one of the perpetrators, Eric Robert, pushing a box on a wheeled cart through a hallway. That box, we later learned, had Rodney Berget in it. The two attacked Officer Matt Freeburg when he caught them trying to escape at the prison’s west gate.
-Was Mathis alone at the time of the attack? Was he performing a routine duty?
- What, if anything, will the DOC do in response to this incident? After the Johnson incident, there were formal and informal security reviews. When inmate James McVay walked away from the Community Transition Program and killed Maybelle Schein, just months after the Johnson murder, another review of procedures took place. Does the Mathis incident deserve such a treatment?
-Why hasn’t Green been charged yet?
I’ll be looking for those answers over the coming days. As soon as I know, you’ll know.