Jury Finds One Former Mt. Sterling Prison Guard Guilty in Inmate Death, Case Against 2nd is Continued

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 25, 2022 at 5:43pm

File Photo: Larry Earvin died in June 2018 from injuries sustained while he was being transferred by guards at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt. Sterling in May 2018.

One of two former Western Illinois Correctional Center prison guards has been found guilty on multiple counts related to the death of an inmate.

The jury in the trial of 53-year-old Todd Sheffler of Mendon and 30-year-old Alex Banta of Quincy was handed the case late Friday afternoon in federal court in Springfield.

Sheffler and Banta are accused of the fatal beating of 65-year-old Larry Earvin of Chicago in May of 2018 at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt. Sterling.

30-year-old Alex Banta of Quincy was found guilty on five counts, including conspiracy of civil rights, deprivation of civil rights, obstruction of justice, and falsifying documents, according to a report by WICS in Springfield.

Early reports from the federal court indicate that the jury asked if the defendants could be split up and given separate verdicts. Sheffler’s case was continued late this afternoon, with a verdict possibly coming as early as tomorrow. Both men face up to life in prison in the case.

This is a developing story.