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MOSCOW (CBSDFW.COM) — A former United States Marine from North Texas was sentenced to nine years in prison in a Russian court on Thursday for assaulting police officers in a drunken incident he says he cannot remember. Trevor Reed, 29, alleges the charges against him were fabricated.

Reed is the second former U.

S. Marine to be handed a lengthy prison sentence in Moscow in less than two months.

He was found guilty of causing “mental and physical harm” to two police officers while drunk after a birthday party in Moscow last August. He pleaded not guilty and said that such a harsh sentence makes him think his trial was “completely political.” His lawyers said it was the harshest sentence ever handed down for that charge in Russia.

“I think that any type of military service in the United States is basically making you a target to the Russian government to kidnap and charge with crimes that never happened,” Reed told CBS News from a cage in the courtroom on Wednesday.

Reed went to Moscow last spring to study Russian and visit his girlfriend, 22-year-old Alina Tsybulnik. They went to a party with Tsybulnik’s colleagues in August, where Reed said he was encouraged to, and did, drink a large amount of alcohol. Tsybulnik said that on the way back home, Reed felt sick, got out of their vehicle, and started walking dangerously near to a busy highway. Her friend called the police, hoping that officers would take Reed to a facility where he could sober up.

When Tsybulnik arrived at the police station to pick Reed up a few hours later, he was being interviewed by Federal Security Service (FSB) representatives without a lawyer. Later he was accused of attacking the police officers who picked him up from the side of the highway during their short drive to the station.

Reed was adamant that he has no memory of the evening due his heavy drinking. The prosecution failed to produce any video or photo evidence of the assault, and during the trial, Reed’s defense pointed to multiple discrepancies in the officers’ testimonies, casting doubt over their allegations.

Reed’s father, Joey Reed of Granbury, said that his son ended up with the police because he was intoxicated, but “once they saw they have a former United States Marine, they said: We are going to keep this guy.”

The older Reed said he plans to continue seeking justice for his son and will appeal directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This is the second conviction of a former U.S. Marine by a Moscow court in the past two months, after Michigan resident Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison on espionage charges, which he alleges were trumped up. There are media reports of talks between the United States and Russia about a possible prisoner swap for Whelan.

News Source: cbslocal.com

Tags: assault on a police officer granbury granbury texas hood county jailed marine sentenced moscow russia trevor reed trial u s embassy u s marine united states

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Mississippi Inmate Dies After Attack in Privately-Run Prison

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Corrections said Friday that one inmate died Wednesday after being assaulted by another at a privately-run prison.

The department said the attack happened at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler.

Lester Andre Henderson, 36, died before being taken to a hospital Wednesday, the Department of Corrections said. Henderson was sentenced to 15 years on May 2, 2013, for unlawful touching of a child in coastal Harrison County.

The attack is being investigated by CoreCivic, the private company that runs the prison; and by the Department of Corrections and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. Justice Department announced in February that it is investigating Mississippi’s prison system. Several inmates died during outbursts of violence in late December and early January.

The Tallahatchie prison holds inmates from Tallahatchie County and the states of Mississippi, South Carolina, Vermont and Wyoming. It also holds federal inmates for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Mississippi has about 560 inmates in the Tallahatchie prison. They were moved there after the violence in late December and early January at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

In a separate news release Friday, the Department of Corrections said an inmate serving a life sentence died Thursday in the hospital at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Michael Gene Ray, 64, had been hospitalized for several days.

Ray was convicted of murder in February 2008 in Lowndes County. The department said no foul play is suspected in his death, according to the county coroner. An autopsy will be done.

Henderson was at least the 60th Mississippi inmate to die since late December, and Ray was at least the 61st.

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Tags: Vermont, Wyoming, South Carolina, Mississippi

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