BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland jury has awarded the family of an inmate murdered by another Supermax prisoner back in 2005 $18.5 million.

Andrea Fujii reports.

A jury found the state of Maryland and four correctional officers negligent in the death of Philip Parker Jr. Parker’s family says they hope this settlement is a wake-up call and causes change in the prison system.

Parker was halfway through his sentence for attempted robbery when he boarded a prison bus in 2005. When the bus arrived in Baltimore, he was dead and corrections officers found Kevin Johns covered in his blood. Johns admitted to strangling Parker without guards ever noticing.

Called a ticking time bomb, Johns was bipolar and claimed he heard the devil’s voice. He’d been convicted of murder twice before and killed himself in 2009.

“The meanest, baddest man in Baltimore prison system. He was a coward. Each and every one of his victims were incapacitated,” said Parker’s mother, Melissa Rodriguez.

Parker’s parents spoke exclusively to WJZ following Johns’ death.

“I believe in karma. I believe you do something evil to somebody so many times, it’s going to come back to you,” said Philip Parker Sr.

They filed suit, claiming guards didn’t properly shackle Johns and weren’t properly monitoring the prisoners. A jury ruled four of those officers were negligent, one of them grossly negligent.

“Someone has to stand up and say `Enough is enough. Let’s do something about this.’ And until then, there’s going to be 50,000 more killings,” said Rodriguez.

While Monday’s ruling won’t bring their son back, they hope it may prevent another family from going through the same pain.

Parker’s father says the only disappointment is that all four officers weren’t ruled grossly negligent.

The state plans to file post-trial motions.

Two of the corrections officers were fired. One was allowed to retire and two more were disciplined after Parker’s death.

Comments (13)
  1. PO PO PO says:

    Go after o mallie he is the one who has brought this state to this level

    1. still white still care says:

      o mallie did not do this, your mom your dad you and me did this.
      no one is to blame but the people that put themselfs there
      now we get to pay for it
      to the gentl giants mom and dad enjoy your money

  2. PO PO PO says:

    Who put the moratorium on the death penalty?

  3. lisa morrow says:

    yeah such a loss. that one more inmate my taxes will not have to pay for to provide housing, clothes, food and medical care. i understand a human life that is lost is a tradgey- what if the human life is trash and a menace to society.

  4. freddie the fondler says:

    I love how the state has a cap on negligence suits against them of $200,000, guess the poor guys working the detail will be sued civilly now for the remainder, the state should have to cover them as well even if sued, they were on the clock and working under the direction of the Govenor, since he is the actual employer he is supposed to be aware of each employee and their actions so they should pay if lost on the suit, even though a loss of an inmate is no loss to society, but we all know how liberal juries are now a days.

  5. PO PO PO says:

    Let me try again Well said fred

  6. chalkie says:

    If he wouldn’t have done the crime, then he wouldn’t have been doing the time. He may have still been alive. Then again looking up his record, I don’t think after this round of jail he would have became a productive member of society. So we would have still been paying for his housing. food, and medical down the road sometime. Now we all know the state will keep appealing this amount of money. So I figure 3 to 5 appeals and atleast 15 years from now the family may get a couple of bucks, but it will not be anywhere near the 18 million mark. Maybe a couple hundred thousand if thier lucky and the lawyers done eat it all up. I feel sorry for thier lost a family member good bad doesn;t make a difference. And there is no excuse how 4 prison guards on a bus didn’t realize what was going on, unless they knew and and just turned thier backs. There is no excuse for something like this to ever happen. But to award such a large amount to the family that the man would have neve ever been able to make that much in 20 of his life times in outragous.I could have understood a half million to million and that still would have been appealed for years to come also.

  7. tierd of liars winning says:

    This is just stupid – plain stupid on so many levels, We cant afford this.

  8. Larry26 says:

    I am suprized that he was given additional time. I despair of the punishment for prisoners in this and many other States. Prison is not supposed to be a vacation. It is supposed to be a punishment. The trend is to try and rehabilatate these people, but, I believe some of them are just untrainable. The courts sentence the prisoners, then the State and the Feds take over. Too many prisoners, send some home before their time is up. Time off for good behavior, time served while awaiting trail. These are ridiculous. The last one really gets me. Time served while awaiting trial. The only reason they didn’t or couldn’t bond out is that the judge judged them to be a flight risk.

  9. Stupidity Rules says:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet……..

  10. d glen burnie says:

    if it ain’t about the money like they say then donate the money to lots of different
    childrens programs loke casey cares chilrens miricle there are so many . parents of victem do you want your son to be remembered by his bad ways or maybe some good . donate the money or at lease a big portion of of it in his name .

  11. Georgeanna says:

    I think its wrong to profit on a death and I wouldnt do it. They wont donate any money as they are in it for the money.

  12. wllharrington says:

    Can the state sue the parents in return for not having him aborted?

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