ROCKFORD – A third Thomson prison inmate is facing a federal murder charge and life in prison, this time in the death of his cellmate, a fellow Navajo who was stabbed repeatedly on Nov. 27, 2020.
Houston A. Clyde, 25, was indicted Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder, assault resulting is serious bodily injury and possession of a weapon in the death of Edsel Aaron Badoni, 37, of Blue Gap, Arizona, U.S. District Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. said in a news release, which did not name the victim.
Clyde, of Tuba City, Arizona, pleaded guilty in federal court in Arizona on July 9, 2018, to second-degree murder and was sentenced that Sept. 24 to 17 years 6 months. According to his plea agreement, Clyde killed a man on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation on April 16, 2016, by hitting him multiple times in the head with a baseball bat.
The court recommended at the time that Clyde “be placed in and institution that can address [his] mental health needs.”
Badoni, also a member of the tribe and a resident of the Navajo reservation, was serving nearly 14 years for assault with a deadly weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and discharging a firearm during a violent crime. Badoni had a history of discharging a firearms in the victim’s neighborhood on the reservation, and when the victim approached him to tell him to stop, Badoni shot him in the chest, according to Arizona court records.
Clyde’s indictment comes shortly after three Illinois Congressional representatives issued a call for an immediate investigation into the deaths of seven Thomson federal prison inmates that have occurred since March 2020, and accusations of “serious abuses” by its staff, including purposefully stoking tensions between cellmates.
In a June 1 letter to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and Sens. Cheri Bustos and Tammy Duckworth, all Democrats, said a report by National Public Radio and the Marshall Project, if accurate, “describes conduct that would almost certainly contravene numerous BOP (Bureau of Prisons) policies, as well as infringing the civil rights of individuals in BOP custody and possibly violating federal criminal statutes,” and “raises serious and troubling allegations about the conduct of staff at USP Thomson.”
The report’s most serious allegations also included staff encouraging assaults against sex offenders and informants, and leaving men shackled to a bed for hours in their own urine and feces without food or water, the three said in a news release.
It also says staff laughed at the expense of a Jewish man they were guarding as he lay dying following an assault that occurred after he was placed in a recreation cage with known white supremacists, the release said.
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, the BOP reported at the time.
In December, inmates Brandon C. Simonson, 37, and Kristopher S. Martin, 37, members of the Valhalla Bound Skinheads, beat Phillips to death because he was Jewish, according to their indictments, also 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.
According to the BOP, which also reported Badoni’s death, the other inmate deaths are:
• Boyd Weekley, 49, of South Dakota, who was found unresponsive at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 2020, after a fight with another inmate.
• Two weeks later, on Dec. 18, 2020, Patrick Bacon, 36, was found unresponsive in his cell around midnight. His death was ruled a suicide, his mother, Shelley Bacon, told Sauk Valley Media.
• On Feb 28, 2021, Shay Paniry, 41, an Israeli mobster from of of Studio City, California, was found in an unspecified area of the prison with life-threatening injuries.
• On Dec. 15, around 10:30 p.m., Bobby Everson, 36, was found unresponsive following a fight.
• James Everett, 35, was found unresponsive in an unspecified area of the prison and pronounced dead around 8:30 p.m. March 15. No information on a cause of death was released, but Bureau of Prison officials have confirmed it is a suspected homicide.
The Carroll County U.S. prison now has 918 inmates, about 440 fewer than in March 2020, and despite repeated efforts by the local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees, is not fully staffed.