An inmate found dead Friday afternoon at the Maine State Prison in Warren was stabbed to death by another inmate, according to a Maine State Police spokesman.
A person familiar with the investigation told the Maine Sunday Telegram that Micah Boland, 37, was assaulted in his cell Friday afternoon by another inmate, knocked out, tied up and then stabbed dozens of times with two makeshift knives. The source declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to provide information about the investigation.
Boland, who had served six years of a 22-year sentence for gross sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl in 2007, died about 4:40 p.m. Friday. State police spokesman Stephen McCausland said detectives believe that the inmate responsible for his death is Richard Stahursky, 35.
McCausland said the state Medical Examiner’s Office, after an autopsy Saturday, “determined (that) Boland died from multiple stab wounds” and his death was ruled a homicide.
McCausland said he didn’t have much information about Stahursky available Saturday night, but that the inmate was “serving multiple sentences for a number of convictions,” including some for violent crimes.
McCausland said police aren’t releasing many of the details about the case, including where in the prison it took place. He said state police will consult with the Maine Attorney General’s Office and expect that Stahursky will be formally charged with murder this week.
Stahursky was still being held at the state prison Saturday night, McCausland said.
Boland’s killing was the second allegedly committed by another inmate at the Maine State Prison since June. Alan Powell Jr., who was serving a 22-year-sentence for murder, was allegedly beaten to death by Guy Hunnewell, another convicted murderer, in the prison’s exercise yard on June 25.
Jody Breton, the associate commissioner of corrections, said Saturday night the department will review Boland’s killing to see if there was anything that could have been done to prevent it and whether any policies or procedures should be changed. She said the review is standard procedure in the case of a prison murder or other serious incident.
Inmates were not required to be in their cells at the time the killing took place late Friday afternoon, she said. Inmates eat in staggered groups during that time and most were either on their way to, at, or returning from dinner, she said.
She said inmates are in their cells with their doors locked by 9 p.m.
Breton also said video surveillance inside the prison covers most common areas. However, only a few cells, primarily those of inmates considered to be at risk of hurting themselves, are monitored by cameras, she said.
Breton also said that counselors were at the prison Saturday to talk to corrections officers or prisoners who might be upset by the killing.
Jim Mackie, an official with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who represents state prison guards, said his members are worried about what he said was increasingly common violence in the state’s prisons.
Mackie said corrections officers told him Stahursky “has a history” of being violent, including “a fairly recent history” of attacking other inmates.
But he said state prison officials have ignored corrections officers’ requests to put the more violent prisoners in “special management units” where they are monitored more closely.
“There seems to be an escalation in violence … (and) it’s a very, very short jump from inmate-on-inmate (violence) to inmate-on-CO (corrections officer)” violence, Mackie said.
Staffing has been cut and vacancies caused by corrections officers quitting or being fired have not been filled, Mackie said. He said even corrections officers at the state’s juvenile facilities report that they are being assaulted more often.
Staff Writers David Hench and Beth Quimby contributed to this story.
Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: