Kenosha County Eye was tipped off today that there was a death at Racine Correctional Institution in Sturtevant. The prison is a part of Governor Tony Evers’ (D) state-wide Department of Corrections. KCE reached out to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office to confirm the tip.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s office, Lieutenant Michael Luell confirmed that “the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau is investigating a death at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Facility, Racine Correctional Institute, in the Village of Sturtevant. RCI staff is cooperating fully in the investigation. The investigation is on going and I cannot comment further on the facts of the case.”
KCE was told that an inmate died and there was “use of force” by RCI staff. Drugs are also thought to have possibly contributed to the death.
KCE has also reached out to the Wisconsin DOC for comment, and spokesman John Beard told us there was a death at the facility, but could not comment further. RCI has come under scrutiny lately for a series of misconduct allegations leading to two arrests and possible a third to come shortly.
On August 29, 2022 a high-ranking employee at RCI, Jacqueline Heidt was charged with 22 felonies for having sex with an inmate, Travis D. Jones many times, and providing him with contraband.
On November 14, 1991, Lorenzo Guyton robbed and murdered James Mallett in the City of Milwaukee. He was convicted and went to prison. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) let him free on September 24, 2021. He then allegedly robbed a Goodwill store at gun-point, located at 6055 North 91st Street in Milwaukee on February 19, 2022. On February 27, 2022 he allegedly robbed a Subway located at 1807 East locust Street in Milwaukee. The gun he used, a Hi-Point, .45 caliber pistol had the serial number obliterated according to the federal indictment. He was charged by Milwaukee DA John Chisholm. Chisholm’s office dropped the charges after the federal government indicted him. His parole was revoked and he was sent back to prison. He allegedly tried to escape on October 30, 2022. He made it over one fence, and when he touched the second fence, he got electrocuted and rendered himself unconscious. According to a source, staff ignored an alarm and it took a great deal of time before his escape attempt was noticed. He was charged with attempted escape.
On or around December 20, 2022 another high-ranking employee of RCI, Michelle Bones, was placed on administrative leave after allegedly being accused of having a sexual relationship with an inmate. Wisconsin DOC confirmed she was placed on leave but wouldn’t comment further.
RCI is ran by Warden Jason Wells. Over all of theses incidents, we have reached out to him. He never answered any of our questions, but instead asked us to not contact him anymore. We reached out to him today becuase that is our right. It is also his right to ignore this bad behavior at his prison. We also reached out to the DOC Secretary’s office about Warden Wells’ track records and they too declined comment.