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16 inmates indicted in prison attack that injured 4 guards

February 20, 2020 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Sixteen inmates were indicted Thursday in a January attack that injured four guards at a maximum security prison in Massachusetts.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said the inmates face a range of charges including felony assault and battery and aggravated kidnapping.

The inmates are all men in their 20s and 30s who are imprisoned at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. They will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court later, Early’s office said.

Prison officials say four corrections officers were hospitalized after inmates surrounded and attacked a guard in a general population housing unit on Jan. 10.

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The incident prompted a weeks-long lockdown at the prison where former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez killed himself in 2017 while serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for murder.

Early’s office said only one of the guards has since returned to work.

At least three inmates have sued the state Department of Correction, saying they’ve suffered from retaliatory attacks from prison officials even though they weren’t involved in the incident.

The inmates say they’ve been stunned, punched, bitten by dogs, placed in isolation, and denied access to their attorneys and legal paperwork.

The department has declined to comment on the pending litigation.