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The Jackson Star-News
Thu Dec 10, 2009, 12:13 PM EST
Ely, NV -
Prison reform groups are calling for a federal investigation in the aftermath of a former Ripley man’s suicide in his death row cell at a Nevada prison.
Timothy L. Redmen (AKA Timothy Lee Redman), 45, hanged himself with his shoelaces in his cell at Ely State Prison on November 18 to culminate a standoff with guards.
Reports allege Redmen had barricaded and jammed his cell door preventing its opening and brandished a “shank (a homemade weapon composed of a sharpened metal rod with a bedsheet handle)” in an altercation with guards.
However, additional reports published online by prison reform groups on web-sites like Prison Abolitionist, Make the Walls Transparent, Nevada Prison Watch and Nevada Prison Voice claim information received from fellow inmates at the maximum security prison at Ely, Nevada, alleging that prison guards emptied several canisters of chemical mace into Redmen’s cell over a two-hour period of “torture” prior to him taking his own life and further allege they did nothing to prevent his suicide.
In the aftermath, the cell door had to be removed by maintenance workers for a cororner to get to Redmen and for his body to be removed from the cell.
An autopsy was ordered performed and an investigation initiated.
A three-judge panel sentenced Redman to death in 1990 for the brutal murder of former West Virginian Max Biederman, then of North Carolina. Biederman was vacationing in Las Vegas when his path fatally crossed that of Redman.
Biederman was shot by Redman near a low budget motel. Redman was preparing to flee the scene when he discovered Biederman still alive. He then fired more bullets into his victim, mutilated his face, pried out teeth and cut off his hands. Investigators believed Redman brutalizing the corpse was an attempt to conseal the identity of his victim.
Biederman’s severed hands were later found along a highway to Idaho where Redman and a junvenile female companion were pulled over for speeding in Biederman’s stolen motor home.
Redman was arraigned on charges of first degree murder, robbery and a use of a deadly weapon enhancement in Clark County, Nevada, District Court on March 21, 1990. He was convicted of all charges on November 28, 1990 after a jury tial, A three-judge panel sentenced Redman to death by lethal injection for the murder and added two, 15-year prison terms—one each for for robbery and for the use of a deadly weapon enhancement.
Former Jackson County Deputy Sheriff Paul Clark remembers Redman all too well. Clark was a Jackson County Jail corrections officer and deputy when he was assaulted and beaten by Redman and two other jail inmates during an escape from the courthouse lockup. Redman was in jail for breaking and entering at the time of the escape.
Clark was moving the prisoners from one side of the jail to the other when the trio jumped him.
Clark said Redman had a knife he had made from a Bic pen and a razor blade from a disposable razor. After beating him, the inmates dragged Clark into a small air conditioning room, took his keys and escaped.
Redman was the last of three to be recaptured. He was returned to the jail three days after the escape by a family member.
Clark was one of the Jackson County witnesses who testified about Redman’s violent past at his murder trial and again at his sentencing hearing.
Redman had a considerable list of criminal activity in Jackson County aside from his jail break. He was charged with assault and/or battery and carrying or concealing a dangerous weapon on four occasions.
Redman’s direct appeal of his death sentence was denied by the Nevada Supreme Court in March, 1992. A subsequent federal appeal was denied in in October, 1992.
Since then, Redman was charged with beating two prison guards with a deadly weapon in March, 1993. He was tried, convicted of two counts of battery by a prisoner with a deadly weapon and sentenced to two more consecutive 20-year prison terms.
Subsequent appeals of his convictions and death sentence were denied—the last one by the Nevada Supreme Court this summer.