NORFOLK, VA – According to reports, the man who has been found guilty on several charges in connection with the 2011 murder of an Old Dominion University (ODU) student is still on the run.
— Norfolk Police Dept (@NorfolkPD) September 16, 2022
On Wednesday, September 14th, the suspect, Rashad Dooley, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, attempted robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery.
His charges stem from the 2011 fatal shooting of 20-year-old Chris Cummings, a student at ODU.
Right before the verdict was read, Dooley allegedly sent a text message to his attorney stating that he had left the courthouse, which is a violation of the judge’s order to not leave the courthouse. Dooley has not been seen since.
While in court on September 14th, Dooley was wearing a black-and-white checkered shirt, but at some point he fled the area.
An arrest warrant is still active for Rashad Dooley after he was found guilty on Wednesday of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the shooting death of former ODU student Chris Cummings.
Dooley avoided a first-degree murder conviction. https://t.co/h6NEBlLPbz
— WAVY TV 10 (@WAVY_News) September 15, 2022
Dooley’s attorney, Eric Korslund, was asked by reporters whether Dooley thought he was going to be found guilty and so he took off because of that. Korslund responded by saying:
“No. I can’t say that. I really can’t. I can see why some people might speculate that and they might think that, but I can say he did not communicate that to me. He didn’t say to me, ‘I’m out here. I am on the run.’”
The attorney said that his client did not raise any red flags, adding:
“He didn’t ask me any questions to make me think that he would go on the run. That would be a red flag to me with questions of that nature.”
When asked if there was a feeling that Dooley would win, Korslund said:
“Yes. I think the trial went very well. Just the fact the jury was out for two days, we felt the jury would come back with an acquittal.”
Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi was asked why he agreed to give Dooley a personal recognizance bond for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit. His answer was:
“I didn’t think it was appropriate if I were reviewing whether the case could go forward that Mr. Dooley sits in jail without bail while I was making that determination”
MIXED VERDICT Rashad Dooley NOT GUILTY of first deg murder, guilty of conspiracy to murder and two other charges in 2011 death of Christopher Cummings. Dooley could not be found when Verdict was read – judge revoked bond and issued arrest warrant @WAVY_News pic.twitter.com/82gfvhVp6H
— Chris Horne (@ChrisHorneWAVY) September 14, 2022
Fatehi acknowledged that the Christopher Cummings case had two defendants with cases dismissed and another had a hung jury. He said:
“As a prosecutor, ethically, I didn’t feel I had a leg to stand on for them to be held at that point. I didn’t like bonding them. I didn’t want to do it, but it was the right thing to do, and I knew there would be questions about it, but I did it because it was the right thing to do.”
Korslund wants his client to know this:
“I think it would be in his best interest if he were here and he did turn himself in. He still needs to be sentenced and it is inevitable he will get some time.”
Dooley was not found guilty for all original charges and was acquitted by the jury on the following:
Use of a firearm in commission of first-degree murder;
Attempted second-degree murder;
Use of firearm in attempt to commit second-degree murder;
Aggravated malicious wounding;
Use of firearm while committing aggravated malicious wounding;
Use of firearm to commit burglary; and
Discharge of firearm in occupied dwelling.
In response to the verdicts, Korslund said:
“He beat the murder charge. He’s found not guilty of 10 charges. Obviously, we are very pleased about that but extremely disappointed he was found guilty of the three.”
Police are encouraging people who have any information on Dooley’s location to call the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip through the P3 Tips mobile app.
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Prison officer in critical condition after inmate (a convicted murderer with a violent past) attacks him with gym equipment
September 6th, 2022
Shirley, MA: A 10-year veteran officer of the Massachusetts’s Correctional Institution in Shirley, MA is fighting for his life after he was violently attacked by an inmate wielding a 3-foot-long metal bar piece of gym equipment.
The officer, Matthew Tidman was on duty at the MCI in a medium/ minimum section of the prison when the attack occurred. He remains in critical condition in a coma as his family members nearby pray for his recovery.
The inmate and a convicted murdered attacked Officer Tidman with the ten-pound metal bar and hit him multiple times in the head, knocking him out. The severe blows caused brain bleeding and a broken skull.
The inmate has a long history of attacks against prison staff.
The attack caused public outrage which questioned the fact that gym equipment, which is inherently dangerous, was made available to dangerous inmates with violent pasts. One of those people outraged was a former co-worker of the Massachusetts’s Correctional system and friend to Tidman, Melissa George.
In an emotionally charged post, she openly criticized both the media for downplaying the incident and the Department of Corrections for their role in the neglect.
In her social media post she stated:
“Why are all the gyms in state prisons still open and being used by inmates with free range equipment that can be used as weapons, after you just saw what happened and can happen again.”
Her post continued:
“Why aren’t you closing the gyms statewide, removing all Mobil equipment, and replacing it all with stationary machines that can’t be dismantled or used as weapons?”
No information was available as to what led to the attack. However, it is not uncommon for inmates with violent tendencies to randomly attack someone without cause or without being triggered.
It is also sometimes triggered by a relatively minor issue, like the brand of medication has been changed for example. These inmates go on a violent rampage and later claim to have ‘blacked out’ and have no recollection of the incident.
The Correctional Classification System
Generally speaking, inmates are classified one of several different ‘classification levels’. These levels typically range from ‘close custody’ aka maximum custody level all the way down to minimum level.
Some states go beyond minimum custody level and are classified ‘community level custody’. This occurs in states that offer half-way houses for inmates to be housed outside a correctional setting. These inmates, who are still serving their sentence, are authorized to be out in public only to travel to and from work and are expected to return to their ‘half-way’ house.
Inmate’s classification status is determined by any inmate’s history and behavior in the correctional system, the seriousness of their crime, participation in rehabilitative programs and so on.
Correctional administrative staff then meet periodically to determine if an inmate’s custody level should be lowered or raised. In many circumstances, administrative staff will ‘gamble’ that an inmate will thrive and succeed if they are given additional privileges.
Administrative staff may also ‘rush’ into a decision. Political pressure may be added to correctional officials to reduce the inmate population and reduce maximum custody level inmates. This may cause administrative staff to prematurely change an inmate’s classification level purely to meet demands.
In a liberal state like Massachusetts, this is very possible.
With the purported violent history of this inmate’s violence against staff, it appears that someone in the administrative staff was asleep behind the wheel and approved this inmate to be around gym equipment.
Most prison’s nationwide severely limit the amount of gym equipment available to inmates for obvious reasons- they are quick and effective weapons.
It is unclear if Massachusetts’s correctional system removed the gym equipment and later replaced it as part of their progressive policies towards inmates or if they never removed such dangerous equipment in the first place.
Either way incompetence reared its ugly head and now a correctional officer is fighting for his life because of it.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to provide financial support for the Tidman family.
According to the GoFundMe page:
“As many of you know Officer Matt Tidman was the victim of a brutal attack by an inmate while on duty. While Matt fights for his life and remains in critical condition, his family remains by his side. Matt is someone who is the first to lend a helping hand no matter the situation and now is our time to do the same for him and his family!”
If you wish to support the Tidman family, please go to their GoFundMe page.
Violence against correctional officers occurs form civilians, too.
This correctional officer was shot in 2016 by someone trying to skip the visitation line. He just died.
Posted October 18, 2021
FRESNO COUNTY, CA – A Fresno County Sheriff’s Office correctional officer succumbed to his sustained injuries earlier in October from a 2016 incident where he and another correctional officer were shot in the lobby of the main jail while dealing with a man who lashed out after being told to go to the back of the visitation line.
STORY UPDATE: With comments from a longtime correctional officer …. Unarmed deputy who was shot at the Fresno jailhouse dies from injuries five years later https://t.co/KVESIIPVXj
— Fresno Bee (@FresnoBee) October 13, 2021
Correctional Officer IV Toamalama “Malama” Scanlan passed away on October 12th, slightly over five years after the September 3rd, 2016, incident that left him hospitalized for the remaining years of his life.
The 2016 shooting that left CO IV Scanlan hospitalized reportedly started out as an issue involving a man, identified as Thong Vang, who was trying to skip to the front of the visitation line at the main jail. Vang was instructed to go to the back of the line, but Vang instead opted to walk toward a metal detector that led to a secure area of the jail lobby.
CO IV Scanlan and CO Juanita Davila approached Vang, which both of the officers were unarmed, and tried to get the man to sit down – Vang produced a firearm and shot both of the correctional officers in the head. CO Davila eventually recovered from her injuries, whereas CO IV Scanlan did not.
Vang, a convicted child rapist who served 16 years in prison before being released in 2014, was later convicted of attempted murder in a 2018 trial where he was sentenced to 112 years to life in prison. During his 2018 trial, Vang testified that he was high on methamphetamine during the shooting and proclaimed to have been suffering from paranoia.
Eulalio Gomez, a longtime correctional officer who served as the president of the Fresno County Public Safety Association at the time of the 2016 incident, spoke highly of the fallen correctional officer’s bravery when responding to the armed subject:
“Officer Scanlan was a brave man and was selfless. He brought a taser to a gunfight. That’s all he had at the time to help.”
CO IV Scanlan started his career in law enforcement back in June of 1998 working with Fresno County Probation before joining the sheriff’s office in April of 2006. Six years into his career with the sheriff’s office, he was promoted to the rank of CO IV and worked in population management.
— Fresno Co Sheriff (@FresnoSheriff) October 13, 2021
The fallen correctional officer was not only respected by his colleagues – but also by the inmate population and reformed convicts who interacted with him at the jail, according to Gomez:
“As a retiree, I’ve come in contact with a number of ex-inmates they’d ask how Scanlan was doing. He was so respected, ex-gang members and gang members said they were praying for his recovery. He just left a big footprint in many lives. But his passing breaks so many hearts, as well.”
CO IV Scanlan is survived by his wife and six children.
A deadly attack against staff in prison.
Attack at Iowa prison – where 70% of inmates are violent felons – leaves nurse and correctional officer dead
Posted March 25, 2021
ANAMOSA, IA – An attack that took place inside of a prison infirmary on March 23rd, that was reportedly launched by a prison inmate, resulted in a corrections officer and nurse being killed.
Officials have yet to release the identity of the inmate allegedly behind the attack, nor the identities of the victims killed.
A correctional officer and a nurse were killed after an inmate attacked multiple staff members and other inmates at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa, prison authorities said. https://t.co/xMPythLkvI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 24, 2021
According to officials, the incident occurred inside of the infirmary during the morning of March 23rd at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa. As of now, it’s unclear what exactly led up to the attack in question and officials haven’t commented on how exactly the attack was carried out.
Department of Corrections spokesperson Cord Overton delivered the following comments on the investigation on March 24th:
“We’re still trying to gather as many facts as we can and verify as much as we can. Between now and then, we’ll just be trying to get all the details we can.”
All that has been shared so far, as of this writing, was that a single inmate attacked both staff members inside of the prison infirmary and other inmates, as well.
Danny Homan, who serves as the union president that represents correctional facility employees within Iowa, shared his condolences for the loss of life that occurred at Anamosa State Penitentiary:
“No one should ever have to go to work and worry about whether they will come home or not. Unfortunately for two Iowans who had committed their lives to keeping our communities safe, they won’t be going home tonight.”
Reportedly, the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the incident at this time.
The Anamosa State Penitentiary is said to be a prison facility that is designed to house medium to maximum security inmates, collectively hosting 950 inmates and employing 321 staff members.
Governor Kim Reynolds also expressed condolences during a press conference held the morning of March 24th, saying the following:
“I want to ask all Iowans to join me in lifting up their grieving families, friends and colleagues in prayer.
“It’s hard to understand such a senseless loss, but it’s my hope that the prayers of our state may offer some sense of peace and comfort during this difficult time.”
Addressing the loss suffered by the Department of Corrections, Governor Reynolds stated that the entity has the full “support” from her and the greater community:
“This is an extremely difficult situation. You’ve lost two of your own. And I want you to know that all of us stand united and ready to support you.”
"It's hard to understand such a senseless loss, but it's my hope that the prayers of our state may offer some sense of peace and comfort during this difficult time," Reynolds said. https://t.co/T1rKttmOJR
— Des Moines Register (@DMRegister) March 24, 2021
According to facility data, roughly 70% of the inmates housed at Anamosa State Penitentiary are convicted violent offenders, with the average sentence served among the population being in excess of 25 years.
This is a developing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this incident.