Antonio Duane Brown was re-sentenced today and released from jail for his actions in saving a female Kent County Jail corrections officer attacked by an inmate last Friday morning.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Just hours after Antonio Duane Brown was sentenced to one and a half to five years in prison, his heroic actions played an important role in saving the life of a Kent County Jail female corrections officer.
Brown, convicted of fleeing and eluding a police officer, also saved himself time behind bars for the good deed.
The 31-year-old Grand Rapids man was resentenced today and told he’ll be released from jail by Kent County Circuit Judge Mark Trusock, who initially ordered Brown to serve a minimum of 18 months in prison during a Sept. 13 hearing.
Brown will not be released until a probation violation out of Indiana is resolved.
Brown came to the aid of the female corrections officer who was attacked by an inmate on the morning of Sept. 14. He likely saved the guard’s life, Trusock said.
“You intervened at your own peril and pulled that individual off of her, probably saved her life and protected her from him attacking her again,” Trusock said.
On the night of the alleged attack, the guard used a remote unlocking system to let inmate Willie Williams out of his cell to retrieve toilet paper. She believed Williams had gone back inside after his door shut and jail observation equipment showed the cell was locked.
But Williams had managed to shut the door and hide behind a support pillar.
Williams later chased the guard when she made her rounds, catching and attacking her in a control room. Williams began hitting buttons in the room that released other inmates from cells.
Six or seven inmates helped the officer, Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma said. He said Brown was one of the first inmates to respond.
“He came to the officer’s aid. He took the assailant (Williams) and separated him from the officer,” Stelma said. “He was the first one there to help and gave her some reprieve.”
After the incident, Stelma made the suggestion to Judge Trusock that Brown be resentenced.
Some of the inmates also helped by retrieving the guard’s radio – it had been dropped and kicked across the floor in the struggle – to scream for assistance after Williams managed to break free and follow the guard into another zone of the jail.
Stelma said he is looking at ways to credit the other inmates who helped the guard, but he said any sentence commutations or reductions will depend on a multitude of factors, such as whether the crime was victim-less. At the very least, the inmates will get a thank-you.
“We’ll look at each one individually and decide based on their own situation,” he said.
The injured corrections officer, choked into unconsciousness by Williams, remains off the job. Stelma said he did not know when she would return to service.
Trusock today in court acknowledged that resentencing is “unprecedented” and “unestablished.” He received permission from Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth, who had no objections to the resentencing but did not know what his sentencing would be.
Forsyth said resentencing doesn’t occur often.
“I’ve been in the office 30 plus years and I’ve never seen it. Which is, I suppose, a good thing because you don’t want this sort of thing to happen very often,” Forsyth said.
Trusock thanked Brown on behalf of the judicial system and gave him credit for 149 days served.
Brown, who has a lengthy criminal record, was arrested in late April, several days after he fled from Grand Rapids police officers on April 4. Police tried to stop his car in the area of Hall Street and Buchanan Avenue SW, but he got on the freeway and sped away.
Brown has been to prison before. His past convictions include third-offense drunken driving, aggravated assault and possession of methamphetamine.
Reporter John Tunison contributed to this story.