Inmates Accused in Houtzdale Riot Appear for Hearings

HOUTZDALE – Three more inmates who have been accused of assaulting corrections officers in a riot at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale in April of 2015 had preliminary hearings scheduled Thursday.

Isaiah Samir Lakeem Hall, 25, has been charged with three counts each of aggravated assault, assault by prisoner and simple assault. He has also been charged with one count of riot.

Aki D. Jones, 40, has been charged with aggravated assault, assault by prisoner, riot and disorderly conduct. He has also been charged with four counts each of simple assault and harassment.

Bahair Stafford, 29, has been charged with aggravated assault, assault by prisoner, riot, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment.

Jones waived all charges to the Court of Common Pleas for further disposition, and Stafford had all charges against him held over to court. Hall had his preliminary hearing continued, and a new date hasn’t been set at this time, according to Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins’ office.

State police at Clearfield had also previously charged inmates Yafest M. Oliver, 27; Richard Adams, 35; and Norman Wothman, 52, for their involvement in the assault/riot. Wothman pleaded guilty when he took the stand during his recent trial, and both Oliver and Adams have signed plea agreements.

According to the affidavits of probable cause, at approximately 2:34 p.m. April 28, 2015, corrections officers responded to a physical altercation between two inmates in the south yard at SCI Houtzdale.

An officer observed an inmate on the ground while Adams was kicking him in the head and face area. He radioed the Control Office personnel and alerted them of the assault. When officers approached Adams, they ordered for him to cuff up.

However, Adams refused orders from the three officers and proceeded to take a “fighting stance.” He stated: “You’re not cuffing me!” They took Adams to the ground and attempted to restrain him with handcuffs.

At that point, several inmates interfered and started to assault the five officers who had responded to the scene in the south yard. Inmates punched and kicked them multiple times about their heads, faces and bodies, the affidavit states.

Adams kicked, stomped and punched an officer while he was on the ground. The officer was flown to UPMC Altoona for treatment of his injuries as a result. He suffered a laceration on his head, facial contusions, head injuries (including a concussion) and a sinus fracture.

Oliver struck the officer with closed fists about his head and body while he was on the ground.  He then punched and kicked a second officer while he was on the ground. This officer was transported to UPMC Altoona for treatment.

Oliver struck a third officer in the back of his head before taking his radio off his belt. He used the radio to hit the officer in the head. The officer was transported by ambulance to UPMC Altoona for treatment of head injuries, along with others to his neck, right arm and wrist and right rib area.

Oliver was also among the inmates who struck a fourth officer and helped to knock him to the ground. This officer was transported to UPMC Altoona for treatment of injuries, including a brain concussion, facial contusions and right arm pain.

Hall allegedly kicked two officers several times about their heads and bodies while they were on the ground. Also, Hall allegedly kicked and stomped on a third officer while he was on the ground.

Jones was allegedly observed punching an officer in his head area several times and wrestling him to the ground. Stafford allegedly kicked an officer several times about his head and body while he was on the ground.

Wothman was also observed assaulting officers. After the victims were removed and transported for treatment, he refused to follow any orders. Wothman threatened other inmates who were attempting to leave and encouraged them to stay in the yard to assault officers.



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