Seventh inmate dies at Thomson prison since March 2020

In this May 21, 2010, file photo, a van drives past the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson. The first 15 of what is expected to be about 1,100 jobs have been posted by the federal Bureau of Prisons. It is expected to take 3 years before the prison is fully operational.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story, published March 18, inadvertently omitted the death of Bobby Everson. It has been edited to reflect that information, which SVM first received on March 21.

THOMSON – A Thomson prison inmate found unresponsive and pronounced dead by emergency responders is the seventh inmate to die at the maximum security federal lockup in two years.

James Everett, 35, had been at Thomson since Sept. 16, 2020, serving a 15-year sentenced levied in the Western District of Missouri for threatening a federal officer, forcibly resisting a federal officer and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was found around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in an unspecified area of the prison. No staff or other inmates were injured, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

No information on the possible cause of his death was released.

Of the six other inmates, at least four apparently were killed by other inmates, a fifth died of injuries from an unspecified source, and a sixth was ruled a suicide, his family said.

Two inmates have been charged in one of the deaths.

Information on the other inmates’ causes of death were not available at press time.

“In general, for safety, security, and privacy reasons, this office does not share specifics regarding the cause of death for any inmate,” Thomson prison public information officer Nicole Vido said in reply to an email seeking more details.

“The official cause of death is determined by the medical examiner and not the Bureau of Prisons.”

The most recent previous inmate death was 13 months ago, in February 2021.

The Carroll County lockup now has 934 inmates, about 430 fewer than in March 2020.

According to the Department of Justice:

• Matthew Phillips, 31, of Texas, was found unresponsive with life-threatening head injuries the morning of March 2, 2020. He was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead 3 days later. He was sentenced to 7 years, 3 months for distributing heroin and money laundering, and had been at Thomson since September 2019.

In December, two inmates said to be white supremacists were indicted on murder and hate crime charges in the death of Phillips, who was Jewish, the Department of Justice said in a news release.

Brandon C. Simonson, 37, and Kristopher S. Martin, 37, members of the Valhalla Bound Skinheads, beat Phillips to death because of his religion, according to the indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Rockford.

The two are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree murder, and hate crime, all of which carry up to life in prison, and assault resulting is serious bodily injury, which carries 10 years.

Edsel Aaron Badoni, 37, of Blue Gap, Arizona, died around 2:30 p.m. Nov. 27, 2020 after a fight with another inmate. He was sentenced Feb. 13, 2018, to 13 years, 10 months for assault with a deadly weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and discharging a firearm during a violent crime.

He was sent to Thomson on Nov. 25, 2019.

• A week later, on Dec. 3, 2020, Boyd Weekley, 49, of South Dakota, was found unresponsive at 2:30 p.m., also after a fight with another inmate. He was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Weekley was serving a life sentence for a Western District of Michigan conviction on kidnapping and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

He had been in Thomson since Feb. 25, 2020.

• Two weeks later, on Dec. 18, 2020, Patrick Bacon, 36, was found unresponsive in his cell around midnight. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

His death was ruled a suicide, his mother, Shelley Bacon, told Sauk Valley Media.

Bacon was serving a 10-year sentence levied in California for assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm, aiding and abetting, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

According to records from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Bacon was imprisoned in Victorville Federal Prison in California when he stabbed another inmate with a metal shank, fracturing the man’s sinus cavity and causing stab wounds to his head and chest. Bacon was appealing the conviction because he had not been allowed to employ an insanity defense.

He had been in custody at Thomson since Oct. 14, 2020.

• On Feb 28, 2021, Shay Paniry, 41, an Israeli mobster from of of Studio City, California, was found in an unspecified area, with life-threatening injuries.

Paniry, who arrived at the prison on Oct. 14, 2020, was sentenced to 17 years, 6 months for conspiracy to launder money, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and interfering with commerce.

• On Dec. 15, 2021, around 10:30 p.m., Bobby Everson, 36, was found unresponsive following a fight. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A second inmate, who was not named, was medically assessed but had no injuries, the prison said in a news release. No staff or other inmates were injured.

Everson was serving a 13-year, 2-month sentence for conspiracy to engage in racketeering, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and felon in possession of a firearm, levied in the Northern District of New York.

He had been at Thomson since July 1, 2021.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.