CCA riot inmate indicted

Published 12:04am Friday, October 12, 2012

NATCHEZ — One of the inmates identified as an alleged instigator of the May 20 prison riot at the Adams County Correctional Center has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

The indictment, filed Oct. 3 in the U.S. District Court for Southern Mississippi’s Western Division, charges that Yoany Oriel Serrano-Bejarano “aided and abetted by others known and unknown to the grand jury, willfully instigated, connived, attempted to cause, assisted and conspired to cause a mutiny and riot at the Adams County Correctional Center.”

The official charges follow an affidavit filed in September by an FBI agent that stated Serrano-Bejarano was one of a number of inmates who stacked food carts in order to reach correctional officers on the roof of one of the prison’s buildings during the riot.

A correctional officer, Catlin Carithers, was assaulted on the roof of one of the prison buildings and later died from the wounds he received during the riot.

The affidavit also stated that Serrano-Bejarano was seen in possession of a prison staff radio during the riot, assaulted a hostage and contributed to the destruction of parts of the facility.

Previous court filings and public comment from prison officials have stated that the riot started because a group of Mexican nationals known as Paisas — which means “countrymen” — began a mass disobedience to express displeasure with prison officials.

The disobedience erupted into a riot when correctional officers tried to control it, and lasted from approximately 2:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Serrano-Bejarano was released from custody Aug. 28 for his previous crimes, but has been in federal custody since Sept. 5.

Another inmate, Juan Lopez-Fuentes, pleaded guilty to charges related to the riot against him Aug. 27, and is set to be sentenced Nov. 19.