Former TN correctional officer admits to concealing other officers’ assault of inmate

Former TN correctional officer admits to concealing other officers’ assault of inmate
Gavel on sounding block (Source: Gray Television)

TIPTONVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Wednesday, a former Tennessee Department of Corrections officer pleaded guilty to a federal offense and admitted to concealing other correctional officers’ assault of an inmate while serving as an officer.

With her guilty plea, 21-year-old Cadie McAlister admitted that on Feb. 1 she and other correctional officers entered the cell of an inmate in the mental health unit at the Northwest County Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee.

Other officers went into the cell while McAlister stood in the doorway. She said heard someone ask for the surveillance camera to be covered and saw a correctional officer cover the camera with his hand.

After the camera was covered, McAlister said she saw an officer repeatedly hit the inmate without any lawful justification. While the officer was hitting the inmate, another officer asked McAlister to get paper towels. She brought paper towels back to the cell and gave them to an officer who wet them. She then saw the officer covering the camera put the wet paper towels over the camera.

McAlister was responsible for regularly updating the logbook in the mental health unit during her shift. However, she failed to document:

  • the arrival of additional officers into the unit
  • the entry of five officers into the inmate’s cell
  • that an officer repeatedly hit the inmate
  • that the camera was covered while the officers were in the cell;
  • that she provided paper towels which were used to cover the camera;
  • or that the inmate remained in his cell bleeding after the correctional officers left.

With her guilty plea, McAlister admitted that she violated US Code Title 18 (Misprision of felony) by knowing of a federal felony, failing to notify authorities of the felony, and taking an affirmative step to conceal the felony.

Former correctional officers Nathaniel Griffin, Tanner Penwell, and Carl Spurlin Jr., previously entered guilty pleas for criminal offenses stemming from the assault of the inmate.

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