The inmate who police say killed another prisoner at the Maine State Prison in Warren on Friday has been placed in a segregation unit to prevent him from mingling with other prisoners while Maine State Police conduct an investigation into the homicide.
Richard Stahursky, 35, was placed in an isolation cell after he allegedly used two makeshift knives to repeatedly stab the victim, 37-year-old Micah Boland, in Boland’s cell.
Deputy Attorney General William Stokes said prison officials informed him that Stahursky, who was sentenced in 2002, was removed from the general population following the attack Friday.
Stokes said Boland was the fourth inmate at the Maine State Prison to have died by violent means in the past five years.
“It does happen,” Stokes said Sunday night. “Any prison has its share of violence.”
A person familiar with the investigation told the Maine Sunday Telegram that Boland was assaulted in his cell Friday afternoon by Stahursky, knocked out, tied up and then stabbed dozens of times. 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. Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said detectives from the state police major crimes unit believe Stahursky is responsible for Boland’s death. McCausland, in a news release, said authorities expect to charge Stahursky with murder this week.
Stokes said he plans to meet with detectives on Monday before charging Stahursky in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland. Once that has been done, Stahursky will have to make a court appearance.
“He has been placed in segregation and will remain there indefinitely,” Stokes said.
Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland, House chairman of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, said the Department of Corrections should conduct its own internal investigation of the inmate’s death.
Dion said the DOC investigation should examine such issues as whether there were gaps in security coverage, whether steps could have been taken to prevent the slaying, how Stahursky procured the weapons, and whether correct policy was followed by prison staff.
Dion is familiar with such investigations, having served as the sheriff for Cumberland County. Dion said the internal affairs investigation is an important piece of information, especially to the victim’s relatives.
“While the public may see them (inmates) as criminals, you can’t forget that they have extended families,” said Dion. He said those families deserve an explanation from the state because inmates have been placed in the state’s care.
Dion said the string of inmate deaths has not reached a disturbing level.
“It’s too early to say that,” Dion said. “But it does demonstrate that crime occurs inside a prison and outside a prison.”
Scott Fish, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Corrections, said Sunday night that Stahursky was sentenced in 2002 after being convicted of theft and burglary.
Fish could not provide any details on the length of Stahursky’s sentence but the DOC’s website said his earliest possible release date is Nov. 20, 2032.
Fish said he also could not confirm that Stahursky had been placed in the prison’s segregation unit. He also had no information on any investigation by the department of Boland’s slaying.
Stokes said prison violence tends to run in cycles. He said there was a string of violent prison assaults in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
His office is preparing for the trial of Guy Hunnewell, a Maine State Prison inmate accused of killing Alan Powell Jr. in the prison’s exercise yard in June. Stokes said Hunnewell used a guitar to attack Powell, but he was not sure if the guitar was the murder weapon.
Powell and Hunnewell had been convicted of murder.
Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: