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United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California

04/20/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/20/2017 19:21

Jury Convicts Federal Inmate of Assaulting Fellow Inmate in Lassen County Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal jury today found an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution at Herlong guilty of an assault on another inmate that resulted in serious bodily injury, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, on May 25, 2015, Willie James McNeal, 60, attacked another inmate at FCI Herlong, causing multiple fractures of the bones in his face. The victim required two surgeries, and experienced extreme pain, as well as disfigurement and impairment of his nasal and breathing functions. Two surveillance videos documented the assault. The videos showed that McNeal, after speaking briefly with the victim, punched him near his right eye. McNeal continued to punch the victim multiple times in the forehead before tossing the inmate onto the concrete floor.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Prisons.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. is scheduled to sentence McNeal on July 14, 2017. McNeal faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to an additional 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.