Ambulance chasing behind bars?
Two apparently litigious inmates who allegedly shot themselves with a gun smuggled into the jail planned to sue the prison system and then settle their lawsuits in exchange for an early release, according to Florida law enforcement authorities.
The weapon in question reportedly was a semi-automatic Beretta pistol that somehow found its way to those inmates via the prison mail system.
Another inmate and several relatives on the outside have also been charged in the incident. The investigation is ongoing, and law enforcement officials have indicated that additional arrests and charges are on the horizon.
Officials have yet to release any information, however, on the extent of the duo's self-inflicted injuries that allegedly were meant to culminate in what might have amounted to a get-out-of-jail free card.
The two inmates at the Columbia Correctional Institution initially claimed that they were shot in their cell by an unknown assailant while they were praying. That version of events didn't hold up, however. "Investigators later found they managed with the help of relatives, friends and a third inmate to get a.25-caliber handgun into the prison through the mail, with plans to shoot themselves and file lawsuits. The law enforcement department said the two regularly smuggled cellphones and drugs into the prison, which is located in Lake City."
One of the inmates is serving a life sentence for murder and the other is serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery.
As a result of this alleged scheme, both men now face a slew of new charges including possession of a firearm and possession of contraband inside a correctional facility.
In addition to getting to the bottom of the alleged shoot-and-sue plan, it would appear that the Florida Department of Corrections needs to upgrade the package screening process in the jail.
[image credit: Thernlund]