WILLIAMSPORT — A state prison inmate serving what is tantamount to a life sentence has been awarded $110,000 by a jury that found two guards retaliated against him by destroying his legal papers.
It is doubtful Linwood Brant will have the opportunity to spend the money outside of prison because the Philadelphia resident is serving a term of 90 to 200 years imposed in 2001.
A U.S. Middle District Court jury Wednesday found now retired Lt. Dale Williams and Corrections Officer Michael Knarr were responsible for the destruction of legal documents belonging to Brant while he was an inmate at the Coal Twp. state prison in early 2011.
The verdict slip states Brant proved Williams and Knarr retaliated against him for prior grievances and his announced intent to file a lawsuit.
The six men and two women awarded Brant $10,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages, finding Williams and Knarr acted maliciously in retaliating against the inmate.
The $100,000 is divided $60,000 against Knarr and $40,000 against Williams.
Brant charged legal documents were taken and destroyed when he was moved to restricted housing at Coal Twp. in early 2011 due to misconduct.
Knarr was responsible for taking inventory of and packaging personal belongings of inmates moved to restricted housing and Williams was responsible for the daily operations of that unit.
Brant is serving the lengthy prison term after being convicted in Philadelphia of charges of robbery, rape, attempted rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors and possession of an instrument of crime.