Ind. inmate sentenced to 35 years for attack on DOC employee

Jerry Hooley, a prison counselor, was attacked and seriously injured by an inmate in 2016


Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.

ANDERSON – It was something Janine Hooley had feared for more than three decades.

In 2016, that fear was realized when her husband, a prison counselor, was attacked and seriously injured by an inmate.

Hooley testified Wednesday in Madison Circuit Court Division 6 at the sentencing hearing of Josiah Boyd, 30, convicted in August by a jury on charges of attempted murder, a Level 1 felony; a Level 3 felony charge of aggravated battery and a Level 5 charge of battery.

Judge Mark Dudley sentenced Boyd to a 35-year executed sentence on the attempted murder charge.

Janine Hooley said she met her husband, Jerry, 34 years ago when they both worked at the Westfield Correctional Complex.

“He loved his job and working in a prison,” she said. “When we first got married, every morning I feared for Jerry’s safety inside the prison walls.

“I learned through his fair treatment of offenders that it made him safe. It made him one of the most respected and safest DOC (Department of Correction) employees.”

But that all changed when she received a phone call June 13, 2016, that her husband had been hurt and was being taken to St. Vincent Anderson Hospital.

“The thing I feared for 34 years had finally happened,” she said.

Hooley said her husband has not been the same since the attack; it changed their lives forever.

“Mr. Boyd, you had a choice,” she said. “You could have stopped after you punched him in the face. Instead you climbed over the desk and choked him.”

Courtney Staton, deputy Madison County prosecutor, requested the maximum 40-year sentence because at the time of the offense Boyd was serving a 20-year sentence from Lake County on a charge of attempted murder.

“You are a danger to society,” she said.

Boyd declined to comment on a recommended sentence.

Dudley said Boyd is not the worst of the worst offenders and would not serve the maximum 40-year sentence.

Testimony during the trial, in which Boyd represented himself and refused to attend the trial, showed that Boyd became upset after learning his name wasn’t on a class list for an education program and asked casework manager Jerry Hooley to investigate the matter.

Jerry Hooley, who was meeting with another offender at the time, testified at the trial that he sent the education department an email raising the issue within minutes of Boyd’s request.

Boyd then returned to Hooley’s office and was highly agitated, Hooley testified. He requested assistance, but before two correctional officers responded, Boyd went behind Hooley’s desk and attacked him.

By the time officers did arrive, Hooley testified, Boyd had him around the neck in a choke hold and was hitting him in the head with his free arm.

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©2018 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.)

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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