LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A female correctional officer was killed today by an inmate at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys.
According to spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Corrections Shea Wilson, Sgt. Barbara Ester was stabbed to death by male inmate Latavious Johnson, after she noticed that he was in possession of a pair of tennis shoes that weren't issued by the ADC.
Because they were not formally issued, the shoes were considered contraband. Sgt. Ester then entered the open barracks where Johnson stayed with a number of other inmates, and he allegedly stabbed her at least twice in the abdomen.
Sgt. Ester managed to make it to the infirmary where she collapsed, bleeding. Doctors called 911 and administered first aid while waiting for an ambulance.
The ambulance began transporting her towards Memphis, about 40 miles away, but were met by a Med Flight helicopter on the way. Sgt. Ester died at the hospital.
Johnson has been in prison since 2001, serving a sentence for first degree murder out of Jefferson County. He has moved to the maximum security wing at the prison, pending transfer to Varner Super Max.
Internal Affairs and Arkansas State Police are conducting an investigation into how he came to be in possession of contraband and the shank he used to stab Sgt. Ester with.
Sgt. Ester was a 12-year employee with the ADC. Sources say her husband also works at the East Arkansas Regional Unit.
Spokesperson Wilson told Today's THV that they would like the public to keep Sgt. Ester's family's in their thoughts and prayers, as the coming days will be particularly difficult on everyone.
Source: Arkansas Department of Corrections spokesperson Shea Wilson