Thursday, February 19, 2015

Feb 19 - Attacked

Thursday, Feb 19

Clayton's wife awoke on Thursday to an early morning call from him.  The words coming out of his mouth were fairly normal, "Hi. I miss you.  How are you doing?"  However, after more than nine years of marriage, she could tell that something was very wrong.  It was obvious that he was not able to tell her directly what was wrong, but that he wanted her to get there as soon as possible to visit him.  She flew out of bed and asked two of his friends to leave early for their visit that day.

When they arrived at the facility for visitation that morning, Clay looked a little pale and she noticed small scratches on his neck that hadn't been there the day before.  "Did you do that to yourself?" she asked, and he simply shook his head no.  He began to explain that he was nervous about who could hear him even just in the room he was talking to her from, and that he could not explain anything over the phone because the phones are located in the main common area of the cell block where everyone around you can hear every word you say.

He then proceeded to explain that everyone in his cell block knew who he was and what he was charged with, and that he had been attacked twice in his cell already.  He said that someone from the cell block had a copy of the Frontiersman article about his trial with photos of his wife in it.  The cell block approached him as a group, and threatened him.  Much more concerning to him, they threatened his family.  They explained that they would look up information from the outside on his friends and families' home addresses and phone numbers and would start threatening them and would hurt them.  Later that same day, a member of his family was pumping gas near their home and had someone screaming at them that they were family of "the baby killer" and that they should watch their back.

Clayton was attacked by inmates in his cell twice on the 18th.  He explained that they grabbed him and threw him around a little bit, kicked him in the side a couple of times, and threatened to kill him.  He insisted that he wouldn't fight them, and instead focused on blocking blows.  "I won't give up the right to see my family," he explained.  He wouldn't show his wife the bruises on his side, but he assured her that he didn't think they were bad enough to need any kind of medical attention.

When his cell mate learned about what had happened he was very upset.  He explained to Clayton that with the amount of time he is looking to serve, he won't survive if he refuses to fight.  It is not safe to request Protective Custody (PC), because you earn a reputation as a wimp.  It is not safe to refuse to fight for the same reason.  But in Clay's eyes, no price was worth giving away his family by ending up in PC by fighting or not.   "I was afraid I wouldn't get to see you before it happened," he explained to his wife, "I think it may only be a matter of time now."

Clay asked his wife to communicate to his lawyers what was happening.  "Don't let them intervene on my behalf," he asked, "It will only make things worse."  His wife communicated the information as requested.  However, when his lawyers attempted to see him the same day, later that afternoon, Clayton was no longer even at the same facility.  He had been moved to Goose Creek Correctional Center.  They wouldn't be able to get any more information on how he was doing until the next day.

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