Private Prison Murder Down In Eloy Leads To Civil Suit Filed Yesterday

The family of a Hawaii inmate who was brutally murdered at a private prison in Eloy in 2010 filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) yesterday in Honolulu.

Bronson Nunuha, who was 26, died in February 2010 after being beaten stabbed more than 100 times by two gang members in his cell at the private facility.

According to the Nunuha family attorneys, a CCA staffer opened the cell door and left the area, soon after which the killers entered and did their evil thing, carving the name of their gang into his chest.

The pair later showered and changed clothes before CCA staff even knew that Nunuha had been slaughtered.

Nunuha was serving a 5-year sentence for burglary and property damage committed in Hawaii, and was transferred to CCA's Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy (where, go figure, hundreds of Hawaiian prisoners are housed). 

The lawsuit says that the murdered man was just months from being released when the other inmates killed him.

The lawsuit, available in its entirety here, describes how one of the killers, gang member Miti Maugaotega Jr., already was serving multiple life sentences for attempted, murder, rape, and armed robbery--and previously had attacked other prisoners at another CCA facility.

"CCA and the State (of Hawaii) knew that Maugaotega was dangerous and capable of extreme violence," says a press release issued by the San Francisco law firm that is representing the Nunuha family, "but still housed him the same unit as Bronson, a non-offender close to finishing a five-year sentence."

Nunuha was murdered in the so-called "Special Housing Incentive Program," or SHIP, a program that places rival gang members and prisoners who do not belong to any gang in the same unit. That practice has led to numerous violent incidents around the nation involving Hawaiian inmates, the lawsuit claims.

Another Hawaii prisoner, Clifford Medina, was murdered at the Eloy prison in June 2010.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin