LARNED — The Pawnee County Attorney has charged 20 inmates housed at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility with felony charges of inciting a riot in connection with a Nov. 6 incident at the prison.
Pawnee County Attorney Doug McNett said the new charges are the result of Kansas Department of Corrections Special Agent Supervisor Nicholas Yeager completing his investigation and submitting probable cause affidavits to his office on Feb. 1.
“Based on a review of the affidavits, I believe there is sufficient evidence to charge the 20 individuals identified by Department of Corrections staff as being primarily responsible for the riots and damage at LCMHF,” McNett said in a statement. “There is no evidence to support any breach of the individual housing units in the Central Unit. Accordingly, my office is legally treating this as four self-contained riots occurring contemporaneously within the Central Unit.”
Inmates charged with incitement to riot, criminal damage to property and rioting were Curtis Core, 26; Manuel Acevedo, 27; Richard Peterson, 40; Joey Terrazas-Garcia, 23; Jacob Bagby, 20; Lance Sutton, 22; Alexis Banuelos, 21; Caesar Hermosillo, 25; Nathaniel Dipman, 20; Anthony Reed, 22; Kab Issa, 20; Jesse Bellamy, 25; Leo, Wells, 22; Joshua Tucker, 22, Joshuah Blake, 21; Nicholas Aldridge, 19; Darrell Pettus, 23; Marcel Wamser, 22; and Aaron McDonald, 21.
First appearances have yet to be scheduled.
Incitement to riot is a Severity Level 8 person felony on the state sentencing grid, carrying between seven and 23 months in prison, depending on a defendant’s criminal history.The incident lasted from about 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, resulting in extensive property damage to all five housing units. At that time, no staff injuries were reported and all inmates were accounted for.
The correctional facility, though it still has “mental health” in its name, was converted in May 2017 to a facility to house young adult male offenders who have identified needs for educational and substance abuse services.
The prison consists of two primary housing facilities, but only the 66-bed medium security Central Unit was involved in the riot.