Feds: Guard's beating caused 2012 Rikers Island inmate death

AP News
Posted: Sep 29, 2015 7:41 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York City jail guard faces up to life in prison after federal prosecutors upgraded charges against him in the 2012 beating death of a Rikers Island inmate.

In court papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) said an autopsy found that Brian Coll kicked Ronald Spear repeatedly in the head, resulting in his death.

The 45-year-old Coll and a colleague were arrested in June. Coll had been charged only with causing injuries to Spear.

The two also have been charged with lying to investigators about what happened. A third guard has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.

Spear was being held on a burglary charge. The city settled a lawsuit over his death for $2.75 million.

A lawyer for Coll and a spokesman for his union didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.