2 former York County Prison guards sentenced

Written by Dylan Segelbaum, York Daily Record | Feb 22, 2016 5:47 PM

(York) -- Two former York County Prison corrections officers who were convicted in January of pressuring inmates into fighting and doing other demeaning stunts were sentenced on Monday to two years of probation.

They were also given fines and community service.

Daniel Graff, 40, of York, and David Whitcomb, 30, of Hellam Township, were found guilty on Jan. 8 of official oppression, criminal conspiracy and harassment. Meanwhile, another former guard who stood trial with them-- Mark Haynes, 28, formerly of Jacobus -- was acquitted of all three offenses.

During the trial, the prosecution called four former York County Prison inmates who testified that the guards coerced them into doing acts such as eating raw food; drinking water contaminated with pepper spray; and getting choked. Though each varied slightly on the details, they also said that two of the prisoners -- David Wright, 29, and James Hicks, 30 -- fought in a closet on the jail's South Block in May 2013.

Those series of events, they said, were referred to as the "Retard Olympics," done often in exchange for extra food or coffee.

But the defense attacked the credibility of the inmates -- one attorney called them as a bunch of "crooks" -- and questioned whether those events actually happened. The lawyers for the former guards also went after the thoroughness of the investigation, noting the interviews with the inmates were never recorded, and that only four, short surveillance videos were kept.

In the end, for Graff and Whitcomb, the jury saw it differently.

This story comes through our partnership with the York Daily Record.

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