Trial for Mt. Sterling Prison Guards Set to Start Next Week

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 24, 2022 at 10:24am

The trial for a pair of former prison guards accused of beating an inmate to death is set to begin.

The jury trial of 29-year-old Alex Banta of Quincy and 52-year-old Todd Scheffler of Mendon is now set to begin on Monday in Springfield.

Both men were prison guards at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mt. Sterling and are accused of the 2018 death of 65-year-old Larry Earvin, an inmate at the facility.

On March 9th of last year, fellow guard, 42-year-old Willie Hedden of Mt. Sterling plead guilty to his role in the alleged May 2018 assault of Earvin that led to his eventual death 6 weeks later. According to a report by KHQA in Quincy, Headen is expected to testify during the trial.

The three men are accused of assaulting Earvin at the prison on May 17th, 2018 while transferring him to a segregated prison unit. Earvin suffered broken ribs, a punctured colon, and other serious internal injuries. The death was later ruled a homicide by a Clinton County medical examiner who performed Earvin’s autopsy.

Banta and Sheffler each face up to 20 years to life in prison if they are found guilty on the charges.