Sentencing

On June 4, 2021, June 9, 2021, and July 22, 2021, Shackelford, Wiltgen, and Burkett, respectively, had pled guilty to violating the civil rights of an inmate.

Wiltgen, Burkett, Shackelford - Former Correctional Staff: Sentenced For Assault

U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced three former Hamilton Correctional Institution Annex guards for violating the civil rights of an inmate. Coty Michael Wiltgen (32, Live Oak) was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release; Ethan Burkett (25, Valdosta, GA) was sentenced to 31 months in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release, and William Story Shackelford (25, Valdosta, GA) was sentenced to 25 months in federal prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release. Wiltgen, Burkett, and Shackelford were ordered to surrender to their facility of a designation no later than 2:00 p.m. on April 28, 2022.

Uc?Id=1Ajcerc4Ihnlbaxmljjy Tzh5Fppgt3Au Wiltgen, Burkett, Shackelford - Former Correctional Staff: Sentenced For Assault

Wiltgen feels insulted by inmate – retaliates

According to court filings, on March 3, 2020, Burkett, Wiltgen, and Shackelford, on-duty correctional guards at the Hamilton Correctional Institution Annex (HCI) in Jasper, Florida, struck an inmate many times while the inmate was handcuffed and laying on the ground. Specifically, Wiltgen, and Shackelford led the victim to an outside location at HCI and assaulted the victim following a previous dispute involving the victim and Burkett.

The victim had shoved Burkett off his path while he was chasing after another inmate. After shoving Burkett and walking away, the victim was blasted with pepper spray by Wiltgen. The victim laid down on the floor showed no signs of struggle and was handcuffed by Wiltgen. Wiltgen and Shackelford then took the cooperative and obedient victim outside of the facility, and out of camera view, and had the victim fall to the ground.

Wiltgen, Burkett, Shackelford - Former Correctional Staff: Sentenced For Assault

Wiltgen kicked the victim in the face roughly 15 times while he was face down on the ground. Wiltgen was reportedly witnessed calling the victim a racist term and spitting on the victim. Shackelford kept the victim on the ground with his knee in the victim’s back to keep him from moving and struck the victim in the side. When Burkett got outside, he went up to the victim and smacked him twice with an open hand to the upper back, and punched the victim.

The victim was screaming during the assault and was knocked unconscious by Wiltgen kicking him. This assault lasted around one to two minutes. Burkett, Wiltgen, and Shackelford recognized that the use of force was needless and disproportionate, contradictory to their training, and utterly unjustified at the time that they used, and witnessed others use, force against the victim. As a result of the assault, the victim received multiple injuries.

Our Hopes for Wiltgen

We hope this individual files a civil lawsuit, as it would be justified. This kind of cowardice, and malice, in addition to the racist comments that were made, should have earned them much more time. No doubt they were given the time that they were given in the end because of the fact that they were all in the “law enforcement” club.

source: justice.gov