Inmate Killed in State Prison System; Second Such Case in Four Weeks

Categories: News


By Ray Stern

State prison officials see no connection between the homicide of inmate Duffy Kilrain last month and yesterday's killing of inmate Earl Ray Lappe (pictured) in a different prison facility.

Still, it's the second state prison inmate to be killed in four weeks, so naturally questions are going to come up as to what's going on over there. As New Times noted in a previous blog entry about Kilrain, a prison slaying two years ago revealed prison staff problems that led to the discipline of 14 employees.

Whether the new slayings involve similar breakdowns in security or procedures at the prisons will be answered in investigative reports still being prepared, says Department of Corrections spokesman Nolberto Machiche.

Lappe , 32, had been serving a life sentence at the Lewis prison in Buckeye since being convicted in 2001 for first-degree murder. He was also convicted in 2003 for assaulting another inmate.

The Internet doesn't seem to carry any info about Lappe's 2001 murder case, and a call to Yavapai prosecutors about his case has not yet been returned.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, at least one suspect killed Lappe "in his housing area," which could mean in Lappe's cell or just outside of it, Machiche tells New Times. An autopsy has been ordered and investigators are trying to piece together what happened. If any suspects are identified, the corrections department will forward the case to the Maricopa County Attorney's office for possible prosecution, he says.

Corrections officials are "definitely" looking for "connections and commonalities" between the Lappe and Kilrain killings, but at this point there appear to be none, Machiche says.

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I am barely finding out what has happened to my dear friend Earl Lappe.. Yes, we have lost contact through the years but I still love and miss him. There is so much Bull shit that happens on the " other side of the walls". Maybe there are some staff members who do show inmates some respect BUT not very many. You say so easily the bad that some of these inmates say and do but WHAT ABOUT YOU??? You are not gonna sit there and say that you or any other staff member take advantage of that uniform!! We know better than this!! I want to know HOW IN THE HELL WAS THIS ABLE TO HAPPEN IN YOUR PRISON? Without anyone knowing shit? The way Earl was killed and found, staff members had to of known something and of course, covers shit up!!! You may try and put blame on these inmates, BUT just like you, there are inmates in there to do what they gotta do to survive and get their respect by staff members like you. So go on and be MAD while Earl's loved ones on this side of these walls are SAD & FURIOUS! Incidents like this give me more of a reason to HATE the system!  It's NOT what THEY claim to be. Deep inside Mad One, You know that I am right!


Iam a Correctional Officer at the Lewis Prison Complex. Sadly I have seen Inmates die due to lack of Man power "Yes" Staff. There are times on the Morey Unit that I work in we come in with about 10 or in a good day 14 Correctional Officers. for our unit. At Lewis Prison we have six units Morey Unit is a level four General Population it holds about 780 or 950 inmates. So if you come in with 10 or 14 Correctional Officers thats acceptable, management condones this short staffing. Putting the inmates and Correctional Officers in arms way of getting assulted or up to murdered. I know they were sentence to serve time but we all have families that worrie about there son. On the Correctional side of the Coin "I want to come home to my kids and Family in one piece. Belive me what we go every day at work is Insane Low staffing the Governor Jan Brewer just cut our pay by 2.7%, implemented furlough and has not hired officers to offset the the short staffing. The public needs to know the truth. Like i mentioned that is only one unit, Lewis Complex has Six Units Morey unit, Buckley unit, Rast unit all Level Four on the other side of the Complex you have Stiner unit, Barchey unit, Bachman unit all level three. A total of over 4,850 inmates. The state cover ups have to stop, that includes on murders and assults.

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