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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Jeffco Probing Inmate '05 Death

The Denver Post

The Jefferson County district attorney is investigating the death four years ago of a child-sexual-assault suspect in the county jail — a death initially ruled a suicide.

The investigation was prompted by a statement made by a prison inmate, who told the FBI that he killed Anthony Sims after manipulating a shared door between their cells that was supposed to be locked.

On Nov. 1, 2005, 20-year-old Sims was found with a tube sock tied around his neck, his body slumped face down over his cell bed with his legs on the floor.

The right side of his face was bruised and swollen.

After an investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the county coroner ruled Sims' death a suicide.

Then, in 2008, inmate Shawn Shields, 36, who is serving time in state prison on a variety of felony offenses until October 2028, told an FBI agent that he had killed Sims, after figuring out how to open a locked door between their cells.

Shields has yet to serve a pending 10-year federal sentence for beating another inmate on May 23, 2005, while in a holding cell at the U.S. District Court in Denver. The victim was beaten because he was a witness testifying against another inmate in a federal court case, records show.

An FBI agent notified Sims' mother, Kathie, of Shields' statement. On Wednesday, she filed suit against the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, Sheriff Ted Mink and an unnamed deputy.


Anonymous said...

while I feel it is unfornuate that anyone would be murdered while in jail or prison. I hope the intent of publishing this article on this website is not to suggest that Anthony Sims who was held after being accused of sexually assulting a child should not have been locked up to begin with?!

I agree in innocent until proven guilty, but in this world it's often hard enough to get justice for families who have been harmed by criminals who desserve to rot in hell. I don't see the point in making it even harder.

Anonymous said...

The murder victim was a child sex assault SUSPECT. This article does not give the details of his arrest. We do not know if he, in fact, assaulted a child or if he was the product of a police internet sting. It is worth noting that in 2006 there were 615 cases (nationally) involving actual minors and 3,100 arrests where police pretending to be a minor employed aggressive enticement tactics to create criminals. The point is, the man was murdered before his guilt was determined and efforts were made to cover up that murder by calling it a suicide.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anonymous #2. The presumption or conclusion that this man was guilty by Anonymous #1 reveals his/her 'opinion' that there is no *innocent until proven guilty.*

This entire situation regarding Sims is reprehensible! It is apparent this was a homicide. No doubt about it. Bruised on one side of his face and strangled by a tube sock. Suicide??? This reminds me of an investigative author that had 2 bullets to the head. It was ruled a suicide. The first bullet didn't render him unconscious or DEAD, but the second one finally worked. (???) How many truly dumb people can fall for any of these cover-ups?

Let's move forward out of the medieval ages and begin holding the law accountable for promoting their own criminal actions.