WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Orlando, Fla., has indicted a
former Federal Bureau of Prisons corrections officer on charges related
to a fatal assault on an inmate in March 2005. Michael Kennedy was
charged with one count of conspiring with others to violate the federal
civil rights of inmate Richard Delano and one count of violating
Delano’s civil rights by arranging for another inmate to assault
Delano. The indictment was unsealed today in conjunction with Kennedy’s
initial appearance in court.

Each count carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. A trial has not yet been scheduled.

The grand jury charged that on Feb. 28, 2005, Kennedy and a
co-conspirator, fellow Bureau of Prisons corrections officer Erin
Sharma, agreed to move Delano into the cell of another inmate at the
Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla. The indictment
alleges that Kennedy and Sharma knew that the inmate was likely to
assault Delano, that the move was in retaliation for a prior
altercation between Delano and Sharma, and that Sharma encouraged the
inmate to assault Delano. According to the indictment, Kennedy moved
Delano into the inmate’s cell on March 1, 2005, and the inmate
assaulted Delano three days later. Delano later died from the injuries
he suffered during that assault.

On July 29, 2009, a federal jury in Orlando found Sharma guilty of
federal civil rights charges related to this incident, and on Oct. 26,
2009, she was sentenced to life in prison in connection with her
conviction on those charges.

The case
will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Ambrose from the
U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Trial Attorney Douglas Kern from the Civil
Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.