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Prison Workers Face Discipline In Inmate's Death At Orient Facility

 An satellite view of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Correctional Reception Center in Orient
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An satellite view of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Correctional Reception Center in Orient

Ten prison workers have been named as involved in the February beating and death of a Columbus man who’d arrived at a Pickaway County correctional facility just two weeks earlier to start his sentence for a stabbing. The results of a months-long investigation by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction could result in disciplinary action and even criminal charges.

Michael McDaniel, 55, died of a sudden heart attack at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, but his death was ruled a homicide. His face and body had bruises and cuts after what was initially described as an altercation with staff.

DRC now said five corrections officers used unjustified and excessive force in removing McDaniel from his cell and then moved him to the medical bay, and three others failed to perform their duties. One nurse is accused of failing to treat McDaniel and she and another are accused of submitting improper records.

Prisons director Annette Chambers-Smith was clear with reporters who watched a video of the incidents.

“I was appalled. It’s not what we train people to do. It’s not what our policy says but it is what happened. Not everyone is suited to correctional work, and those who are not suited we need to remove,” she said.

Eight workers could face disciplinary actions and two have resigned. Pickaway County Prosecutor Judy Wolford is also reviewing DRC’s investigation.