Warden and 8 Correctional Officials Charged in 2 Wisconsin Inmate Deaths

Shocking Neglect and Abuse Lead to Arrests at Waupun Correctional Institution

In a disturbing turn of events, nine Wisconsin correctional officials, including the warden of the maximum-security Waupun Correctional Institution, have been arrested on charges related to the deaths of two inmates. Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt expressed outrage at the alleged mistreatment and neglect that led to the arrests, stating that the officials showed a “blatant disregard for the safety of human beings.”

5 Key Points

  • Nine correctional officials, including Warden Randall Hepp, face charges in connection with two inmate deaths at Waupun Correctional Institution.
  • Inmate Cameron Williams was found dead in his cell 12 hours after his death, with staff allegedly skipping rounds to check on his health.
  • Inmate Donald Maier died of dehydration and malnutrition after officers reportedly failed to feed him nine out of 12 meals over four days.
  • Charges include misconduct in public office and abuse of residents of penal facilities.
  • Two additional inmate deaths occurred, but the conduct did not rise to the level of criminal activity.

Alarming Details Emerge Surrounding Inmate Deaths

The deaths of Cameron Williams and Donald Maier have brought to light the alleged neglect and abuse within the Waupun Correctional Institution. Williams, who was housed in restricted housing, was found dead in his cell on October 30, a staggering 12 hours after his death. Despite his collapse, staff allegedly skipped rounds to check on his health, and a nurse decided, without visiting him, that no medical entry was needed. His death was ruled a stroke, and the manner natural.

In another tragic case, Donald Maier died on February 22 due to malnutrition and dehydration. Shockingly, an investigation revealed that officers at his restricted unit failed to provide him with nine out of 12 meals over four days. Maier’s death was ultimately ruled a homicide.

Warden and Staff Face Serious Charges

Among those arrested is Warden Randall Hepp, who faces a count of misconduct in public office, along with three other correctional officers. Several officers and registered nurses have also been arrested on charges of abuse of residents of penal facilities.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Jared Hoy has made it clear that the department will not provide legal representation to any of the nine individuals charged. All accused individuals, except for the warden, were under ongoing internal investigation, placed on administrative leave, or terminated based on the department’s investigations.

Additional Deaths Raise Concerns

Two other inmates, Tyshun Lemons, and Dean Hoffman also lost their lives at the Waupun Correctional Institution. Lemons died on October 2 due to fentanyl toxicity, while Hoffman died by suicide on January 29, 2023. Although policy violations were found surrounding Hoffman’s death, Sheriff Schmidt stated that they did not rise to the level of a crime.

These additional deaths, along with the alleged neglect and abuse leading to the arrests, have raised serious concerns about the conditions and treatment of inmates within the facility. The Waupun Correctional Institution housed approximately 1,001 inmates and employed 432 staff members during the 2023 fiscal year.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the public awaits further details and justice for the lives lost due to the alleged misconduct and abuse within the prison system.