Federal inmate at USP Hazelton convicted of 2007 jailhouse murde - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Federal inmate at USP Hazelton convicted of 2007 jailhouse murder

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An inmate at the federal penitentiary in Hazelton, West Virginia, faces an additional life sentence after being convicted of murdering another inmate in 2007.

Kevin Marquette Bellinger, formerly of Washington, D.C., was found guilty of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and of second degree murder in a federal facility for his role in the Oct. 7, 2007, murder of inmate Jesse Harris.

Harris was jumped in a hallway while inmates were being moved from the recreation yard back to their cells.

Evidence taken at trial suggests Bellinger and a co-defendant left the yard ahead of the others and positioned themselves at an area where two corridors intersected, where they stabbed him with shanks in what federal authorities are calling an "orchestrated attack."

In less than a minute, an officer approached, and the attackers fled. Officers apprehended Bellinger after a short pursuit but they did not recover his weapon. However, surveillance footage showed Bellinger and his co-defendant engaged in a verbal exchange with Harris, followed by the two attackers wielding weapons and physically assaulting Harris, who was unarmed and backing away from them.

At the time of the murder, Bellinger was serving a life sentence for an assault with intent to kill that took place in 2000, and his co-defendant was serving a life sentence for two separate homicides that took place in 1997 and 2000.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II for the Northern District of West Virginia said Bellinger, who remains in federal custody, faces a mandatory penalty of life in prison for his conviction of murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence and up to life in prison for his conviction of second degree murder.