An official from the Michigan Department of Corrections announced that the former warden of Macomb Correctional Facility has been removed from his position and barred from all prison property pending the results of internal investigations.
Department spokeswoman Chris Gautz stated that George Stephenson has been “stop ordered,” or prohibited, from accessing the facility.
Gautz said on October 19 that MDOC assistant deputy director and former Macomb warden Willis Chapman is now in charge of the facility.
Get a head start on the day. Every morning, all the important stories you need to know will be delivered straight to your email.
According to Gautz, Stephenson has not been fired and there is no police inquiry involving Stephenson. As he explained, “it is a personnel problem and an ongoing internal inquiry,” thus he was unable to comment on whether or not any workplace policies were broken.
One inmate was killed and another was injured in separate incidents at the prison on October 18th, the same day Stephenson was removed from his position. The instances have been reported to the Michigan State Police and are also being investigated internally.
A prisoner in Macomb’s residential treatment program stabbed another prisoner multiple times in the back, arm, and face, according to an article published in the Free Press on October 19. The victim of the attack was taken to the hospital and released; however, when authorities searched the cell of the offender, they found his cellmate with “serious injuries” that ultimately proved deadly.
Gautz determined that the deceased was 28-year-old Ruben Martinez. Records reveal that he was incarcerated for crimes committed in jail in January of this year in addition to a sentence he received in 2011 for an armed robbery in Saginaw County.
Attempts to reach Stephenson by phone were unanswered for some time.
An overdose of heroin and fentanyl led to the death of 35-year-old inmate Ventron Lott at the residential treatment center at Macomb Correctional Facility in December 2021. Marshall Forrest, 60, who was incarcerated in an adjacent cell, told the Free Press and the Michigan State Police that Lott informed him a Macomb prisons officer gave the pills.
Gautz also verified to the Free Press that a newly hired prison officer was removed from his post in September after being caught with illegal substances like marijuana, cigarettes, and a smartphone by Michigan State Police.