Golden Grove inmate charged in prison stabbing already is serving time for assault inside facility
Published: September 6, 2013
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ST. CROIX - A Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility inmate already serving time for two separate assaults, including a stabbing inside the prison, was advised of his rights Thursday morning in connection to another stabbing at the troubled prison.
David Rios, 40, made his initial court appearance before Magistrate Jessica Gallivan on charges of third-degree assault, brandishing or using a dangerous weapon and promoting dangerous prison contraband in connection to the incident reported around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Police officer Malissa Fraser said she interviewed a Bureau of Corrections officer who told her he was in the facility's "J" wing doing paperwork when he heard a commotion in the hall and saw Rios and inmate Lorne Davis fighting. He said Davis was bleeding as he ran and Rios was walking in the opposite direction.
Another Corrections officer reported that he saw Rios released from lock down in another part of the facility and then saw him running from the "J" unit to the "I" unit with a shiny machete in his hands. He said the next thing he saw was Davis bleeding from his face and arm and running, so he closed the gate behind Davis, preventing Rios from entering the unit to continue the assault, according to the police report.
Davis was taken to Luis Hospital, where he was treated for lacerations to his left and right shoulders, forearm and to the right side of his face, Fraser wrote.
Bail has been set at $25,000 and defense counsel said a motion for Rios' release will be filed at a later date.
Bureau of Corrections Assistant Director Dwayne Benjamin said as of Thursday afternoon the weapon used in the slashing has not been recovered and the facility is on lock down as the investigation into the matter continues.
This is the second prison stabbing that Rios has been charged with in just more than a year.
In May 2012, Rios was arrested after he stabbed another prisoner in his back and side outside his cell. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of third-degree assault and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Rios had been at Golden Grove since a Nov. 30, 2011, assault in which police said he was arguing with a male customer inside a small grocery store in Estate Glynn. During the argument, Rios pulled out a gun and fired, hitting the customer twice in his upper body. Rios then walked out of the store and left in a car, but he was apprehended only a short distance away by police. He was still in possession of the handgun when he was apprehended, according to police.
He was charged with attempted murder, third-degree assault, reckless endangerment and firearms possession at the time, but late last year he entered a guilty plea to the single charge of first-degree assault in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the remaining charges against him.
In January, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison with credit for the year he had already served in prison.
Rios's extensive criminal history includes six arrests in the last 20 years on charges of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, firearms possession, destruction of property, grand larceny, contempt of court and third-degree assault.
Unsafe and unconstitutional conditions at the prison - including security lapses and rising violence within the facility - are the subject of a court case brought by federal civil rights lawyers more than 27 years ago and are still being litigated.
Most recently, a judge signed off on a settlement in May in which the territory has again agreed to fix the unconstitutional conditions. In June, the judge agreed to the selection of Kenneth Ray as independent monitor, to oversee the settlement's implementation.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.