Murder Charges For Prison Sex Offender Killing

a picture of an empty prison, looking decapitated and scary.

A prisoner in Michigan has been murdered by his cellmate, allegedly because he molested children.


Timothy R. Dickerson, a current prisoner in the St. Louis Correctional Facility, is headed to court to face murder charges. According to court documents, Dickerson, who is serving time for unarmed robbery, is accused of strangling his cellmate to death during an argument.


23-year-old Jason Nathaniel Turnbull was found unresponsive in his cell by prison staff. The murder is assumed to have happened as a result of the fact that Turnbull was in prison for sex crimes. He had been convicted on a single count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion, and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion.


Apparently the incident began at about 9:30 in the evening, and quickly devolved into a physical assault. By the time the prison guards were alerted and could respond to the scene, Turnbull was already unresponsive. He was pronounced dead about an hour later. Dickerson was allegedly segregated following the incident, and then moved to another prison.


Incidents like this fuel urban myths about child molesters murdered in prison.


Turnbull was serving a prison sentence of up to 15 years for his third-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, along with a 1 year sentence for the fourth-degree CSC convictions. Under Michigan law, third degree CSC refers to unlawful sexual penetration of a person. Commonly, third degree CSC is the term used for what was once called statutory rape, however, it can also refer to any form of unlawful sexual penetration.


Ask anyone what happens to child molesters, or “child rapists” in prison, and they’ll tell you with absolute certainty, that they are likely to be “shanked in the shower.” Why? Because it has become an indelible part of current urban mythology that the incarcerated population metes out justice a little differently on the inside. Additionally, people convicted of sexually assaulting children are usually treated with open hatred and often violence inside the prison system.


But the reality of urban mythology is that it’s exactly that – mythology. According to statistics released by the Bureau of Justice, you are probably more likely to be murdered on the streets of your home city than you are in prison. In fact, the current number of inmates who are killed by other inmates while in prison is 3 out of every 100,000. Not exactly a staggering number. Putting prison murder aside, being a “cho mo” (child molester) in prison certainly makes prison time go much slower.


Given the fact that it hasn’t been that long since a similar killing took place in a Michigan prison, where Steven Sandison killed his cellmate for being a child molester, it is understandable why people may be a little hasty in jumping to conclusions about prison murders.Prison beatings are a different story altogether.

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