BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — One day after a federal magistrate ruled that it appears West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials purposefully destroyed emails, texts and video which could have contained evidence in a civil lawsuit and urged U.S. District Court Judge Frank Volk to order a criminal investigation into the matter, a Beckley woman said she also wants a criminal investigation.
Latasha Williams, the fiancee of Quantez Burks, who died at Southern Regional Jail in 2022, said U.S. District Court Magistrate Omar Aboulhosn’s ruling in the civil case, filed by Beckley attorney Stephen New in 2022, is a step towards justice.
“Well, the judge, I feel like, he knew it was wrong for them to delete that stuff,” said Williams on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. “It’s a step to justice. It’s a step. I’m ready for all the steps. This is just one of them.”
Two former Southern Regional Jail corrections officers now face conspiracy charges in his death.
Williams said the recent ruling in the federal civil case supports her belief state officials withheld information from Burks’ loved ones about how Burks died.
“Anybody that had anything to do with Quan’s death, I just hope they get in trouble,” she added. “And by them destroying evidence, I feel like they are, because that’s a big cover-up. If y’all didn’t do nothing wrong, what are y’all destroying stuff for?”
They said Southern Regional officials still have not notified them of Burks’ death.
Williams said learning of the alleged deleted email accounts and other evidence raises questions of how far the alleged conspiracy in Burks’ death could extend.
“What are y’all deleting stuff for? Where are y’all gone?” she asked, referring to the resignation of WVDCR officials. “What happened to the emails? What’s done in the dark is gonna come to the light.”
New and West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials declined to comment.