Correctional officer who fatally shot inmate returns to work

Correctional officer who fatally shot inmate returns to work
Dominick Maldonado (left) and Kevin Newland (right)
CLALLAM BAY - The Clallam Bay Corrections Center officer who shot and killed an inmate during an escape attempt in June returned to his post last week after being cleared of the shooting.

Sgt. Brad Hatt returned to his job at the prison armory on Monday, said Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis. Hatt had been working as an administrative assistant during the investigation into the fatal shooting.

The Clallam County prosecutor on Aug. 15 determined the fatal shooting of Kevin Newland was justified, but Hatt could not return to the job until he was cleared by a psychologist and the attorney general's office.

On June 29, Newland and another inmate, Dominic Maldonado, tried to break out of the maximum-security prison in what officials called a sophisticated escape attempt.

Maldonado, who shot several people at the Tacoma Mall in 2005, used a pair of scissors to take a correctional officer hostage in the industries area of the prison.

At the same time, 25-year-old Newland drove a forklift through the doors of the work area and crashed into the perimeter fences.

Hatt fired a warning shot, but when Newland did not respond, he shot at the inmate with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing him, officials said. After Newland was shot, Maldonado dropped the scissors and surrendered, according to officials. The prosecutor has not made a decision on charges against Maldonado, who has since been transferred to the Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen.

The officer who was held hostage sustained minor injuries. He remains on administrative leave, and will have to undergo a mental evaluation before he returns to his job.

Both Newland and Maldonado were sewing machine operators in a factory that makes inmate clothing, prison officials said.

Kevin Newland was convicted in November 2007 of murdering 19-year-old Jamie Lynn Drake, and would not have been eligible for parole until August 2049.

After the murder, Newland took off with Drake's car and credit card, and went on a cross-state shopping spree, racking up purchases on her credit cards in Spokane, Deer Park, Colville and Kettle Falls. Among his purchases, Newland used Drake's credit cards to watch three movies at the Regal Cinemas at NorthTown Mall less than 24 hours after he killed her.

Prior to Drake's murder Newland had an extensive criminal history, mostly in Stevens County, for writing bad checks, theft of a firearm, vehicle prowling, theft and burglary.

Newland is the fourth inmate killed by corrections officers since 2002, according to Department of Corrections spokesperson Maria Peterson.

Two inmates were killed in separate incidents at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. In two separate incidents in January and November of 2002, tower guards shot and killed two inmates when they attempted to kill other inmates during fights.

In 2003, an inmate at Stafford Creek Corrections Center escaped and was shot by officers who attempted to catch him in the woods nearby. He died two days later