Derek A. Mays, 32, a former Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center (EKCC) officer from Morehead, Kentucky, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, to four counts of obstruction of justice.
According to his plea agreement, Mays admitted that on July 24, 2018, he witnessed three EKCC correctional officers assaulting an inmate, and then he falsified records in order to cover up that assault. Specifically, Mays wrote and signed an occurrence report falsely claiming that the inmate had been noncompliant. Mays also admitted to later lying to his supervisor, a Kentucky State Police (KSP) detective, and a Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet investigator, on three separate occasions, about the assault. Mays was indicted in July 2022.
Mason is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2023. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each charge. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office; and Colonel Phillip Burnett Jr. Commissioner, KSP, jointly announced the guilty plea.
The investigation was conducted by FBI, KSP and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Dembo and Mary Melton.