More than a dozen inmates have been convicted for their various involvements in July, 2015 rioting that caused more than $2-million in criminal damage at the privately operated state prison in northwest Arizona. The first trial concluded Tuesday, August 16.
Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steve Conn acquitted Michael Anderson of participating in a riot but convicted him of aggravated assault upon corrections officer Brandon Puebla. Prosecutor Rod Albright said witnesses indicated that the 33 year-old Anderson and four other inmates punched and kicked the officer who was not seriously injured.
Anderson had completed his four year sentence for nine felony convictions but faces up to 2 ½ more years in prison when sentenced for the assault next month.
Albright said 13 other inmates entered plea agreements for the prison unrest. He said their punishments ranged from 10 months to three years more in prison.
The rioting and previous incidents at the prison, including the death of an inmate in an assault, and a high profile escape that evolved into an out of state double homicide, saw the state of Arizona terminate its operations contract with Utah-based MTC. A new contract was awarded last December for the Florida-based GEO group to operate the 3,500 inmate prison located in Golden Valley.