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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott reacts to indictment in prison officer's death

Gov. Rick Scott and the Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker issued statements on Friday following the indictment of prison inmate Richard Franklin in the death of correctional officer Ruben Thomas Jr. on March 18.

Thomas, 24, was a sergeant at Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City when he was stabbed to death by an inmate. He left a pregnant fiancee and a one-year-old daughter. 

"The indictment of the inmate allegedly responsible for the death of Corrections Sgt. Ruben Thomas brings his family and loved ones one step closer to justice," Scott said in a statement. "Our criminal justice system must ensure justice prevails for victims of crime, especially our law enforcement officers."

Tucker issued a statement saying Thomas' death "will always resonate with me and all the members of the Florida Department of Corrections. (Officers') chosen profession puts them in harm's way on a daily basis.”

Franklin, an inmate serving two life sentences for murder, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggra vated battery on a law enforcement officer and possession of contraband inside a prison. Franklin, in prison since 1995, has a long history of disciplinary problems. Authorities said Franklin stabbed Thomas to death with a homemade shank in the prison annex. 



[Last modified: Friday, May 4, 2012 2:34pm]


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