The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 28, 2013

Marino vows to probe prison slaying

SUNBURY —  U.S. Rep. Tom Marino said he will investigate what happened Monday night at the U.S. Penitentiary at Canaan, where a corrections officer from Luzerne County was killed by an inmate.

The slaying of Eric Williams, 34, of Nanticoke, should never have happened, Marino said.

“These guys have no line of defense,” said Marino, R-10 of Cogan Station. “I have been pushing since last year for Congress to act on getting something together so our guards can at least be able to carry Mace. They are law enforcement, and all law enforcement individuals have the toughest jobs.”

Mace is a brand of tear gas that is packaged in an aerosol canister and stuns its victims.

The U.S. Penitentiary at Canaan, a high-security prison for men in Waymart, houses nearly 1,500 inmates.

Officials say Williams was killed by an inmate who used a homemade weapon and died from “a combination of blunt head and neck trauma and hemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds and cuts.”

Williams was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m.

“This is clearly the darkest day in our institution’s short history, and we are in shock over this senseless loss of a colleague and friend,” Warden David Ebbert said in a statement.

A spokesman from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said the prison, which opened in 2005, remained in lockdown Wednesday and that the FBI is investigating the attack. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on potential charges against the inmate, citing an ongoing investigation.

“Some of these guys are lifers and have nothing to lose,” said Marino, a former federal prosecutor.

Marino said he will visit the prison, speak to Warden Ebbert and was planning to visit with the Williams family.

The U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg houses roughly 1,400 inmates inside the maximum security prison and has about 500 outside the walls at the camp location.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and staff at Canaan,” said John Adami, spokesman for the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg. “We offer our support and any and all assistance that is needed.”

Williams was working alone in a unit housing about 130 inmates and was preparing to lock them into their cells for a nightly head-count when he was attacked, said Philip Glover, the northeast regional vice president for the guards union.

Williams would have been equipped with only a radio, keys and handcuffs, and that Marino said is a problem.

“I will be pushing in Congress to get this problem addressed,” Marino said. “I understand they can’t have guns but we need to at least address that these guys need some form of defense.”

n Email comments to

Text Only
  • 1obamanew.jpg Conflicting rulings on Obamacare

    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bearden9.jpg Bail reduced for Bearden

    Jasmine Bearden, who was arrested earlier this year on criminal attempted homicide charges for the alleged abuse of her six-week old baby, had her bail reduced in Union County on Tuesday morning.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • US airlines scrap Israel flights

    Two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice, after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1flag.jpg Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge

    Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bass22.jpg Mifflinburg honors its national fishing champs

    MIFFLINBURG — More than 50 friends, fans and relatives gathered in front of Mifflinburg Area High School on Monday night to celebrate the homecoming of juniors Nick Osman and Garrett Enders, newly crowned winners of the BASSmasters National High School Championships, held last week in Tennessee.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newport official succeeds Snook in $94G-a-year post

    Newport School District’s director of educational services is slated to be hired tonight by the Midd-West School Board to fill the vacant director of curricular and instruction position.

    July 22, 2014

  • Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California.

    July 22, 2014

  • $5,000 added for M-W restroom work

    The bill for the Midd-West School District stadium restroom renovations continues to rise to the consternation of at least one board member.

    July 22, 2014

  • Today's editorial: Dubious achievements in press secretary-ism

    Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Valley Congressman Tom Marino since May, recently posted on LinkedIn that he was excited and ready to elevate the congressman’s legislative profile — which Shucard did last weekend (but not in a good way) when he got himself arrested for bringing a pistol into a federal office building.

    July 22, 2014

  • Danville train diver left hospital 4 days before suicide

    DANVILLE — The young man who killed himself by diving under an Iron Heritage Festival passenger train underwent treatment in mental health facilities as recently as four days before his death, according to Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.