Inmate gets 8-year term for assault

Man threw bloody gauze at guard

HIV fear raised

May 01, 2002|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

An inmate was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for an assault that prompted an Anne Arundel County corrections officer to undergo treatment to prevent a possible HIV infection.

The sentence given to George Green, who threw bloody gauze that hit a guard, is thought to be the longest ever imposed for an assault on an officer at the county jail. It is to be served after he completes a nearly two-year term for a probation violation.

The sentence was praised by detention center Superintendent Richard Baker, who said inmates are getting the message that such behavior is not just intolerable, but criminal.

The assault - and Officer Cheryl McKeldin-Brady's 12-hour quest for medical attention - alarmed jail employees, who are sometimes targets of blood and human waste thrown by angry inmates. The incident also led to moves to ensure prompt medical care for officers who might have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens.

McKeldin-Brady said she hoped the sentence would help her cope with the emotional trauma she has suffered. She has tested negative for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but still fears that she might contract hepatitis C, a liver disease. After the April 23, 2001, assault, McKeldin-Brady was placed on a monthlong regimen of anti-AIDS drugs and other medications that sickened her. Since then her sleep has been disrupted and she is too unnerved to return to the job she had held for three years.

"I'm satisfied. I hope it helps me get past this," she said after yesterday's sentencing.

Green, 44, was convicted in February of assaulting McKeldin-Brady as officers were escorting him to a cell in the Jennifer Road jail outside Annapolis. A struggle broke out between Green and the officers during the move, and Green was cut on the face, according to trial testimony. After he was given gauze and ice to stop the bleeding, he threw the gauze at McKeldin-Brady. It hit her in the face, splattering blood into her mouth and eyes. Green was tested for HIV after the incident. The result was not made public.

Assistant public defender Jeremiah J. Sullivan said that Green threw the gauze after guards beat him. Green was in jail awaiting a hearing on a charge of violating probation at the time of the incident.

Green's criminal history includes nine assault convictions, said Assistant State's Attorney Pamela K. Alban. She said five of those assaults were against law enforcement officers - including one against McKeldin-Brady in 1998.

Green blamed the guards for his plight. That won no sympathy from Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth, who said guards deserve respect.

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