Corrections officers sue jail authority, say murderer attacked them

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 19, 2013

HUNTINGTON - Two lawsuits have been filed against the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority by correctional officers who claim they were not warned about the inmate they were guarding.

Randy Morgan and Donald Pacinhik were employed by the defendant as correctional officers, according to two complaints filed Nov. 12 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim on Dec. 19, 2011, they were subjected to a hazardous, unsafe and dangerous condition that caused them to be seriously injured by a dangerous inmate.

The inmate, Robert Drown, was housed in the pod that Morgan and Pacinhik were assigned to guard, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim Drown, who was convicted in May 2010 of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl and her younger sister and mother, then burning their home to conceal the crime in Kentucky, was sentenced to five life sentences by the Kentucky court. After his sentencing, he still had unrelated charges pending in Wayne County and was transferred from Kentucky the Western Regional Jail to answer for the Wayne County charges.

While in Western Regional Jail, Drown was improperly classified and placed in general population, according to the suits, and the guards were not told about his violent offenders history or warned of his extreme danger.

The plaintiffs claim Drown initiated an unprovoked attack against Pacinhik and Morgan responded to his call for help. However, while attempting to restrain Drown, Pacinhik was assaulted by him and sustained severe injuries, the complaint says.

The jail authority had a duty to provide the plaintiffs were a safe place to work and failed to do so, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Richard W. Weston and Connor D. Robertson of Weston Law Office.

The cases have been assigned to Circuit Judges F. Jane Hustead and David M. Pancake.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers: 13-C-841, 13-C-842

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