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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Prisoner's murder at Elayn Hunt raising new concerns over prison security

2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, April 01 2021 Apr 1, 2021 April 01, 2021 4:30 PM April 01, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. GABRIEL - According to internal Department of Corrections documents obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit, a cell that wasn't locked may have led to the murder of inmate Reynault Danos this week.

It shows offender Ernest Governor and Danos got into an argument "in what appeared to be over the TV." The document, called an Unusual Occurrence Report, states workers at the prison discovered Danos dead at 5:26 am.

Watch the report live at 6:00

Click here to read the full document 

Sources told WBRZ there is video evidence time-stamped around 2 a.m. that morning showing offender Ernest Governor going into Danos' cell and stabbing him with a sharp metal object that he took out of his right pants pocket. The UOR states Governor pulled on cell B-11 several times until the cell door came open.

"Offender Reynault tried to close the cell door after being stabbed."

"Offender Governor pulled on the cell door again several time(s) to get back in and started stabbing kick and stomped {sic} Offender Reynault."

The WBRZ Investigative Unit requested information from the Department of Corrections about the murder. They have provided scant information and declined to give information about the inmates involved or what they were serving time for.

Questions remain about why the cell doors managed to unlock. Sources said they were not working. Also a concern, our sources said no one on duty made the mandatory rounds for nearly three hours. Those rounds would have determined that an inmate was dead more quickly.

The problems involving the lack of security at Elayn Hunt were first exposed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit in July of 2020 when a corrections officer claimed she was raped by an inmate. Deshunta Miller was charged with malfeasance in office a month after she said she was raped. She was accused of having a sexual relationship with a different inmate. Miller told WBRZ in November she believed her arrest stemmed from her talking about the prison.

"Normally I work with a friend, but that day I had to split up and we were very short-handed," Miller said. "I went to Biever five. I was by myself... 65 inmates."

Miller said at the time they were so short-staffed that she pressed her beeper multiple times and no one came to help.

"She stated that she hit the button 12 times," St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau said last year. "When the incident was over, she ran out, and that's how she got assistance."

Ahead of the story being published Thursday night, the WBRZ Investigative Unit requested an interview with the Department of Corrections.

"This incident is under joint investigation," Communications Director Ken Pastorick said. "No further details or names of the inmates are available at this time."

Those familiar with the situation said the broken cells should have never been able to open, and Governor should have never been able to get into Danos' cell. It comes as concerns about staffing and their safety remain.

Reports indicate that Governor told investigators he flushed the murder weapon down the toilet. Corrections officers called maintenance, but they could not find it. Search teams also fanned out around the unit and could not locate the weapon.

Governor now faces a second-degree murder charge.

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