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Inmate's death: 'This is murder'

Sister wished for one last word
By Milton J. Valencia Telegram & Gazette Staff

WORCESTER- Mary McMullen walked out of the hospital room as nurses started walking in, preparing to disconnect her brother, Daniel, from life-support equipment.

She grabbed the magazines she had read while she sat there for days, watching him lie in a coma. She collected the letters he wrote to friends about his last days before he entered the hospital. And she took one last look, hoping he could say one last word.

"I'm just concerned I got called when he was in this position and not when he was awake," Ms. McMullen said minutes before her brother was disconnected from life support Wednesday evening. He died 38 minutes later.

Ms. McMullen longed for one last conversation with her younger brother, if only to find out how he had ended up in the hospital, a breathing tube in his mouth, machines connected to his body.

An inmate at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction in West Boylston, he was beaten by a fellow inmate. A week after Ms. McMullen had been released from the rehabilitation center where she was recovering from knee surgery, she was told by a family friend that her brother was in the hospital. She called jail officials last week, but they would tell her little, she said.

All she could find out was that there had been a fight at the jail and that her brother was in the hospital. Last Friday, she was told she should come to see him. She figured the worst, and saw him at his worst. Five days later, and 20 days after he was brought to the hospital, Daniel McMullen died, at 7:13 p.m.

"I think this is murder," his sister said.

District Attorney John J. Conte said yesterday that he is expanding the investigation into what happened. Before Mr. McMullen's death, his cellmate Dennis Hadley, 49, had been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a shod foot, and assault and battery. Mr. Conte said prosecutors learned of the seriousness of Mr. McMullen's condition when Mr. Hadley was arraigned in Clinton District Court on Feb. 18. The alleged fight occurred on Feb. 3.

Mr. Conte said state police detectives had launched an investigation after the arraignment, and that Mr. McMullen's death could trigger new charges. The district attorney said the detectives have experience investigating incidents at jails and will look into the alleged fight as well as how jail guards and other staff responded.

The investigation, he said, will determine "whether or not … they (jail personnel) fulfilled what they should have fulfilled, according to their duties," Mr. Conte said. He questioned why Mr. McMullen was in the same cell as Mr. Hadley, who was being held in lieu of bail on larceny and burglary charges.

Mr. Conte said it is against the law to house a detainee and a jail inmate in the same cell, but left open the possibility of a satisfactory explanation.

Mr. Conte said the investigation "entails cooperation from the institution, which we hope to have, and we'll move with the facts."

Sheriff Guy W. Glodis sent a letter to Mr. Conte yesterday, calling for "your prompt pursuit" of a second-degree murder charge against Mr. Hadley, saying such a charge would be appropriate in this "tragic outcome." Mr. Conte stressed that it is up to him to determine if a new charge is filed, which could be murder or manslaughter, and that he would probably bring evidence before a grand jury. "Once we have that all together, we will bring necessary charges," he said.
Mr. Glodis said in his letter that, "I believe the circumstances and tragic outcome of this case warrant only the most severe of criminal penalties.
"Most important, if we are to ensure justice and even a modicum of relief for Mr. McMullen's family in a case that is both appalling and egregious in nature, only a second-degree murder charge would be appropriate." :?:

According to jail officials, a correction officer was checking cells when he noticed Mr. Hadley and Mr. McMullen fighting. He broke up the fight, and within a half hour a nurse examined Mr. McMullen's facial injuries and recommended he be hospitalized.

Mr. McMullen received 13 stitches at St. Vincent Hospital at Worcester Medical Center and was released. About seven hours later, he complained of continuous pain and was brought back to the hospital, where his condition kept deteriorating. When Ms. McMullen arrived, doctors told her there was little medicine could do and she decided to disconnect her brother from life support.

Yesterday, she was still waiting for jail officials to return her brother's personal belongings.

"I don't know what the hell's going on, everything's falling apart," she said.

Mr. McMullen had been at the jail since October, serving a six-month sentence for driving under the influence in a second offense. He was paroled later that month, but the parole was revoked a week later when he was arrested for domestic assault and battery for an incident with a partner. Mr. McMullen was a homosexual, but no jail reports or letters he sent to a friend indicate he was harassed at jail for his sexuality.

Instead, he wrote to a friend that he was harassed by inmates who would steal his personal belongings. He would fight back, but acknowledged in the correspondence that the situation had become quite stressful.

On Feb. 3, he accused his cellmate, Mr. Hadley, of stealing his playing cards. Mr. Hadley then beat him, according to jail reports. A doctor told jail officials Mr. McMullen suffered blunt trauma to the chest and stomach area.

Jeffrey Turco, deputy superintendent of the jail, said jail officials knew of only one instance in which Mr. McMullen complained he was being harassed. In that case, he said inmates had urinated on his bed. He was transferred to a different cell block soon after the incident, according to Mr. Turco.

The deputy superintendent said jail officials try to work with inmates who have complained of harassment, and noted that Mr. McMullen was transferred twice: soon after he first arrived at the jail and after his complaint about inmates urinating on his bed.

Mr. Turco said that the death tragically evidences problems at the jail, particularly the crowding, which fuel a negative climate. He said harassment among inmates is "reflective of what happens in an overcrowded situation."

Looks like the DA had to put this senator turned sheriff in his place. This sheriff should leave these investigations to the experienced professionals!!!
 

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Working for the state it is good to see Sheriff Glodis' staff back his officers on this one. I remember a certain high profile murder and what officers went through and still are going through today two years later. Murders happen, jail is not a nice place.
 

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That;s nothing wait till the OD death hits the papers 2 in one week. Let's see maybe we should concentrate on being CO's like we are paid to do...
 

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Thumper,

Once again you have made yourself look like a ass-clown. An overdose is an accidental death. Key word accidental. From the information that I have heard and what the paper is printing it seems like the officers there have been backed by Glodis because they were doing their jobs. Have you ever worked in a prison because I have. There is nothing and I repeat nothing that is going to prevent a 100 % success rate of controlling contraband coming into a facility. You saying what you said is like someone saying that if there was an accident on 290 that the state police should have been there on that road to prevent that accident. But as we know the accident is unpreventable. As my department is working with community policing and patrolling we are not responsible for everything that goes on in the community, but we can help prevent some activity. NOT 100 %. It is good to know that Glodis is backing his men and woman already. This was not evident with the last regime.
 

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Otto, try reading comprehension, never said that you would be good in politics though, no facts just bs..

Truthbetold, Been there done that, OD's are accidental as anyone knows, but dont complain about lack of manpower and overcrowding when you send your guys out to play cop, when we pay taxes to do care and custody of inmates...
 

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Thumper, that was an excellent response to my question. You are obviously an expert in the operation of the WCSO. Could you answer these questions next, please.

What do you consider, "playing" cop?
How many Worcester deputies "play" cop?
How many were "playing" cop at the time of the OD?
What percentage of deputies "play" cop?
Can "playing" cop enhance security within a jail?

I will await your usual articulate response.
 

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The biggest source of smuggling contraband into a Jail/Prison is via the Guards. It's an integrity issue.
 

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RPD931";p="58269 said:
The biggest source of smuggling contraband into a Jail/Prison is via the Guards. It's an integrity issue.
Please tell us how you reached this conclusion. Do you have any experience to make such a statement? It has been my experience that while staff are responsible for some, it is a very small percentage.
 

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As told by a (recently) retired Corrections Lt.

Yes, there are other sources to getting it in... thats why all Jails and prisons should be ZERO contact with visitors... behind a 2" thick glass.
 

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The visits and inmates should have glass separating them. There is all types of ways contraband is introduced mostly through visits and sometimes the mail. If visits were behind glass I could see why someone would look at staff. Drugs have been a problem for some time now in the prisons and jails across the country. The State had a drug sniffing machine for visits and the prison advocate groups along with the ACLU fought and won in court. It was ruled a violation of privacy.
 

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Gotta love the ACLU.. complains that not enough is being done to protect people, yet they smack-down everything done to enhance such "protections".
 
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