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A year later, still no sign of former Logan County corrections officer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Kanawha County judge wants police to continue looking for a former Logan County jail guard who has avoided sentencing for almost a year.

Rafael Beatty, 60, pleaded guilty in 2011 to a fraudulent schemes charge. According to his indictment, he obtained more than $1,000 under false pretenses from Kelly Services Inc.

Circuit Judge Duke Bloom sentenced him to one to 10 years in prison, but later, after Beatty had served several months in jail, Bloom reconsidered the sentence and gave him three years of probation.

His probation was revoked in April 2012 after, according to court documents, he failed a drug test, failed to attend day report meetings and failed to maintain employment.

Before his probation was revoked, in February 2012, Beatty wrote the judge asking that his probation be moved to Tennessee so he could be near his family.

In his letter to the judge, Beatty wrote that the judge had agreed to grant him probation so he could "be employed by Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.," the "America's Got Talent" star from Logan County.

"However, the day report officers did not allow me to take the position because it would conflict with their schedule for me." He noted he had been having trouble finding another job because of the day report requirement.

Beatty has never showed up to court to be re-sentenced. A warrant was issued for his arrest last year. On Wednesday, Bloom decided to keep the case open, as he "can't disregard a sentencing order."

Beatty was in the public eye in the 1990s, as he was Logan County's only black corrections officer. He was hired as a jail guard in 1992 after suing the county, claiming then-Sheriff Oval Adams would not hire him because of his race.

The state Human Rights Commission awarded him $30,000 and the job in a settlement arranged by the county's prosecuting attorney.

In 1993, a sexual assault charge against him was dismissed. Police had said they caught him at a female inmate's cell with his pants unzipped.

He maintained he was innocent of the charge and had been harassed by the department because he is black. According to previous reports, Beatty said the female inmate had called him back to her cell after his shift began at midnight to say sexual things to him.

A magistrate dismissed the charge because of lack of evidence, but he failed to get his job back.

He started work as a jail guard July 1, 1992, but was suspended for 60 days without pay in August that year after being charged with driving with a suspended license.

The sheriff at the time said that charge wasn't the only reason for the suspension, and cited work-related problems.

Also in 1993, Beatty admitted his guilt in U.S. District Court to letting cocaine dealers use his home as a crack house.

He pleaded guilty to establishing manufacturing operations and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, drug treatment and three years' supervised release. Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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