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Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 fired Guam prison guards deny using stun guns

HAGATNA, Guam (AP)—Two former Guam prison guards are denying using stun guns on inmates.

Matthew Gill and Michael Martinez are appealing after they were fired over the stun gun allegations, Pacific Daily News reported. Prison guards are not trained to use stun guns and are prohibited from carrying them.

In October, an inmate’s parent reported to Guam police that officers assaulted inmates with Tasers. Four inmates received treatment for injuries believed to have been from Tasers. The Department of Corrections announced last week that the guards were fired.

"I did not Taser any inmates, as stated in my final notice of adverse action," Gill said in his appeal.

According to department documents, inmates described the Taser use as "torture."

Inmate Kevin Roberts wrote in documents that Martinez asked to use the Taser on him but Roberts refused. Roberts claims Gill held him while Martinez shocked him twice in the upper arm, until "there was a stench of burning flesh and clothing."

Another inmate, Dominick Felders, wrote, "I did not agree to being tortured in any way; nor did I agree to being humiliated and subjected to pain."

According to interview transcripts, Martinez denied using a Taser on inmates. He said the inmates might have made the allegations "because I’m strict with them."

Department of Corrections Director Jose San Agustin didn’t immediately return an after-hours call seeking comment.

Jeff Limo, special assistant to the director and internal affairs investigator, said Gill and Martinez were fired "based on their conduct on duty."

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