Former head of rural Mo. jail sentenced to 10 years in prison

Jul 13, 2011

The former head of the jail in rural Washington County, Mo. will spend 10 years in federal prison and three more on supervised release for violating the civil rights of four inmates housed in his jail.

A jury convicted Vernon Wilson in March of beating two inmates and arranging for the beating of two others. One victim of those orchestrated beatings, who was in the jail on a bad check charge, had to be hospitalized.

Federal officials said they were pleased with Wilson's sentence.

"His actions affected more than those he physically abused,” said Dennis Baker, the head of the FBI's St. Louis office. "He undermined the public's trust in law enforcement."

Wilson's daughter Valeria Wilson Jackson, a former corrections officer, pleaded guilty last July to a count of obstruction. She was sentenced to five years probation, including six months of home confinement.