N.Y. cop killer claims he's abused in prison
The Associated Press
ELMIRA, N.Y.- Former fugitive Ralph "Bucky" Phillips, suspected of killing one state trooper and wounding two others while on the run, says he is being mistreated by jail guards because of his notoriety.
Phillips claims the guards at the Chemung County Jail are attempting to provoke him by using obscenities, watching him while he showers, leaving a television on all night so he can't sleep and denying him routine privileges. The abuse claims were described in a six-page letter to The Buffalo News published Saturday.
"Because of my charges, I am being subjected to arbitrary sanctions for no other reasons but harassment," he wrote. "Only accused 'cop killers' are treated this way I'm told. Pedophiles, rapists, and 'regular murderers' are treated with regular care," he wrote.
He also said he has been denied visits, access to a phone and religious services.
Phillips, 44, who escaped from an Erie County jail in April, led police on a five-month chase that ended with a massive manhunt and his surrender Sept. 8 in western Pennsylvania.
"He's not being abused in any way whatsoever," said Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, whose department runs the jail. He said Phillips has been a "model prisoner," but said he is under constant surveillance because he is considered an escape risk and possibly violent.
Phillips is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of State Trooper Sean Brown near Elmira in June. Troopers Donald Baker Jr., 38, and Joseph Longobardo, 32, were shot Aug. 31 in Chautauqua County, near the Pennsylvania line. Longobardo died three days later. Baker is recovering. Charges are expected in both shootings.