Hours After This Man Was Sent To Jail, He Was Back In Court After An Encounter With A Female Guard

Michigan man Antonio Duane Brown was facing years in prison in September 2012 for his crimes against society. But it was not long after the judge had handed down his sentence, that the inmate was brought back before him. But this time things were different in the courtroom. Brown’s reaction to a shocking incident on his first night behind bars had changed everything, and now the convicted man was effectively dealt a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Brown is a 37-year-old from the city of Grand Rapids, MI. Unfortunately, the petty criminal has been imprisoned many times down the years for various offenses, including drug possession, drunk driving and assault. Sadly, in late April 2012, the then 31-year-old was arrested again in his home town.

Earlier that same month, Brown had fled from police by zooming onto the freeway after they attempted to pull him over in the city’s downtown area. The perpetrator was taken into custody, charged with fleeing and eluding a police officer and convicted in a Kent County court on both counts. On September 13, 2012, the habitual offender received a sentence of five years in prison from Circuit Court Judge Mark Trusock, with a judicial recommendation that Brown should serve at least 18 months.

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Following his sentencing hearing, Brown knew he was bound for the nearby Kent County Jail. But what the felon did not know was that a prison drama would erupt within its walls in just a few hours. And that the new inmate would find himself at the centre of the action which would lead him back to face the judge. However, this time Brown would be appearing as a hero rather than a villain.

Indeed, after lights out, a major incident lit up Kent County Jail. At approximately 12:15 a.m. on September 14, Brown’s fellow inmate Willie Williams was said to have requested a roll of toilet paper from the wardens. The 20-year-old had reportedly been imprisoned for instigating hold ups at several gas stations across the country.

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The toilet paper was duly placed outside the door of Williams’ cell, and he was ordered to collect it and return to his unit immediately. So the facility’s electronic unlocking system released the felon for a brief moment. And when surveillance cameras showed that the cell door had been shut once more, the female guard on duty was under the impression that Williams was safely back inside and locked it.

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However, she was sorely mistaken. In fact, Williams had seized the opportunity to escape and was not in his cell at all. In fact, the dangerous inmate had closed the door to his unit from the outside and was now concealed behind a pillar. Allegedly, when the female guard had started a routine landing inspection shortly after, Williams pounced on her and chased her back into the control room.

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Police later stated that Williams had attacked the woman warder, who had been working at Kent County Jail for about a year. He was said to have disabled her communication device, so that she could not call for assistance, and then assaulted and choked the officer. But, nevertheless, help was on its way, thanks to something else the hapless Williams had allegedly done.

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Amid the altercation with the warder in the control room, apparently Williams had hit numerous buttons which opened the doors of some of the other cells in the block. As a result, six or seven inmates were said to have been released from their confinement. But, instead of joining the out-of-control convict in his attack, the freed men reportedly rushed to help the vulnerable guard.

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And the first inmate to come to her aid was said to be Brown, who acted fast to save the injured officer. He apparently dragged Williams off the guard physically, while another prisoner used her damaged device to summon backup. With the assistance of the freed inmates, the female warder was said to have been able to bolt to a different control centre. Alas, it was also reported that Williams had joined her just before the door locked itself shut, leaving the pair alone in the room.

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Apparently, it took several minutes for other prison personnel to arrive at the scene, but they then managed to subdue and detain Williams. Unfortunately, by that point, the woman officer was said to have been rendered unconscious. Later that same day, Larry Stelma of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, spoke to Michigan-based media company MLive about the incident. “I would consider it a very serious attack,” the sheriff said. It was also revealed that another guard had been treated for breathing difficulties relating to a fire extinguisher going off during the melee.

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It transpired that the stricken female corrections officer had been taken to hospital to have her injuries assessed. She was discharged shortly afterwards and subsequently spent some time off work, recuperating from both her actual wounds and the mental distress of what had happened. “Her physical injuries are really the lesser concern, I think,” Stelma added. “It’s the emotional trauma that’s the most concerning.”

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But the sheriff had some words of praise for Brown and his brave assistance in the matter. “He came to the officer’s aid. He took [Williams] and separated him from the officer,” Stelma explained. “He was the first one there to help and gave her some reprieve.” With this in mind, the sheriff thought that Judge Trusock should perhaps reconsider Brown’s sentence.

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And it seemed as if Bill Forsyth, Kent County Prosecutor, was in full agreement with this sentiment, although he admitted that revisiting a sentencing decision was extremely rare. “I’ve been in the office 30-plus years, and I’ve never seen it,” Forsyth told MLive. “Which is – I suppose – a good thing because you don’t want this sort of thing to happen very often.” It also turned out that plans to individually reward the other inmates who had helped in the rescue were in motion.

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Brown appeared in court in front of Judge Trusock again on September 20, 2012. The official described the re-sentencing as “somewhat unprecedented,” but he pointed out that the guard could have died if Brown had not intervened. Trusock told the offender, “I want to thank you personally on behalf of the judicial system for stepping in and probably saving this corrections officer’s life.”

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Trusock continued, “I think this was something you did that was heroic, that was brave and honorable and I think it needs to be taken into effect in your sentencing.” As a result, the judge decided to reduce Brown’s sentence to 149 days time-served, meaning that the prisoner could go free. However, before the reprieved man had a chance to think about tasting freedom, it turned out that there was a problem.

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Apparently, it emerged that Brown was a wanted man in Indiana after he had violated probation terms stemming from serious domestic abuse charges in the state’s Allen County in 2010. The probation revocation took place on April 25, 2012, approximately the date when Brown was apprehended by the cops in Grand Rapids. Nevertheless, the inmate was ordered to remain in jail that night while the issue was resolved.

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The following day, Brown secured his release from Kent County Jail only to be taken to an Indiana correctional institution to await trial for his probation violation. Court records state that in March 2013 Brown was sentenced to 183 days of confinement with 50 days of jail credit. He appears to have been released from incarceration later that year.

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However, Sheriff Stelma believed that there was a strong chance that Brown would end up back behind bars in Kent County someday. He said, “I think if you look at statistics and the recidivism rate, that’s a statistical probability.” Nonetheless, Stelma told NBC-affiliated Grand Rapids channel Wood TV that he hoped the offender would take the re-sentencing opportunity to change his ways. The lawman said, “My hope and prayer would be, though, that when he recognizes that he’s recognized for good behavior, he can utilize this as a turning point in his life.”

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A clip of the Wood TV report on Brown’s sensational story has been viewed more than two million times when it was subsequently uploaded to YouTube. And many commenters on the video-sharing website believed that Judge Trusock had made the right decision, and – more widely – they felt that we should reward prisoners for positive actions. “If we want people to do good, we should give them credit where its due,” one YouTube user wrote. Another added, “Society recognizing his strong character is a much more effective form of rehabilitation than locking him up.” Hopefully, Brown has used his get-out-of-jail-free card to his best advantage and is now enjoying the game of life on a more straight-and-narrow path.

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