Judge overturns ruling in case of former prison guard

An appeals court overturned a ruling Tuesday that allowed a former corrections officer convicted of fatally beating an inmate to regain his freedom. Paul Cote spent three months in state prison for the

News 12 Staff

Sep 24, 2008, 11:27 PM

Updated 5,724 days ago

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Judge overturns ruling in case of former prison guard
An appeals court overturned a ruling Tuesday that allowed a former corrections officer convicted of fatally beating an inmate to regain his freedom.
Paul Cote spent three months in state prison for the 2000 assault in Westchester County Jail and was later found guilty of federal civil rights charges. That verdict, however, was overturned last year.
According to prosecutors, Cote attacked an inmate after another guard ordered the mentally ill and homeless man, Zoran Teodorovij, to clean his cell. Teodorovij refused and swung at the guard, prompting him to restrain the inmate.
Then, prosecutors say, Cote came over and kicked Teodorovij in the head at least four times, leaving him in a coma with severe brain damage.
Following the incident, Cote was taken into custody, fired from his job, convicted of second-degree assault and sentenced to three months in jail. By the time he was released, the inmate he attacked died of his injuries.
Another jury decided Cote was also guilty of violating Teodorovij?s civil rights, but the corrections officer did not serve additional time because a judge overturned the ruling.
The decision released Tuesday by the Second Circuit Court reversed the ruling in Cote?s case, finding that the previous judge used flawed logic.
Based on the appeals court decision, Cote will be immediately remanded and sentenced in the near future.
Cote faces 10 more years behind bars, if convicted. His attorneys could not be reached for comment.


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