HUNTINGTON, W.Va. —Three former correctional officers at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville who allegedly played a role in a plot to kill an inmate pleaded not guilty Friday and were released on $10,000 bond each awaiting trial.

Photo courtesy WSAZ-TV

The former corrections officers were arraigned together Friday in Cabell County Circuit Court.

Cabell County Circuit Judge Albert Ferguson arraigned Steven Adkins of Milton, Benjamin Browning of Kermit and Jeffrey Winkler of Chesapeake, Ohio on charges of aiding and abetting attempted murder or being an accessory to attempted murder.

They allegedly, along with fellow correctional officer John Bruhin of Huntington, worked with four inmates to try and kill another inmate.

The alleged target was inmate Zachary Lawson, 19, who has been in jail in connection with alleged sex crimes. He’s scheduled to go on trial in August in Mason County. The indictment doesn’t give details on why Lawson was targeted or what exactly happened to him.

The inmates indicted include Steven Adkins, Jr., James Galloway, James Kenney and Jared Harris. They are charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. They were arraigned previously. All have been moved to different regional jails.

Regional Jail Authority Director Joe DeLong previously said all four of the workers were fired.

Judge Ferguson ordered those arraigned Friday to appear in court again June 4.  Bruhin was not arraigned Friday because of a conflict.

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  • DWL

    $10K!!!! That's all? For a conspiracy to commit murder inside the walls of a correctional facility? Maybe the judge is anticipating a stay their in the future. I have never seen a more corrupt judiciary than exists currently inside the boundary of WV.

    • Tyrone

      Hey DWL i dont know how old you are . but if you remember a late night talk show hosted by Johny Carson he once said if you want to commit murder go to West Virginia. The judicial system in this state is so corrupt. The most corrupt is the family court system .

      • DWL

        Johnny who? (Just kidding) Definition of a judge - A wanna-be attorney who can't make it in the lawyers' world and then seeing the easy money as a judge. A family court judge is a divorce attorney with no clients.

  • Curious

    What is the story behind this story?