tv Lockup Wabash MSNBC October 18, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
>> two cell mates share deeply disturbing charges. >> i was younger, i was a very, very bad person. something was broken. >> i ended up buying a chain saw and cutting her corpse in about 15 different pieces. one victim's mother still lives the nightmare. >> i go by the dumpster and wonder is that is one of my daughter's last resting places. plucked from death row an inmate tries to make a
indiana's wabash valley correctional facility houses nearly 2200 inmates. more than one-third of them are doing time for serious violent crimes. unless isolated in solitary confinement, the vast majority of inmates live in two-man cells. pairings are critical and avoiding a volatile mix of cell mates a constant challenge. >> we try to not put people doing life with people who are going home next year or blacks with whites or white supremist where with someone with a child molestation case just to resolve the conflict before it happens. >> but even with careful screening conflicts can still arise between cell mates. >> there is a guy in the infirmary with several injuries to his facial and head area. at this point he is saying he
had a seizure. we will try to talk to him. he may have been assaulted with a hot pot. we're going to talk to him and see if he is willing to talk at all. >> the victim is curt its cash who is serving a 29-year sentence for burglary. >> cash? >> yeah. >> what's up with you, man? >> you can stay laid down if you want to? what happened? >> fell. >> where? >> in my cell. >> did you get dizzy? >> i don't remember. >> have you fell like this before? >> no. >> do you have a medical condition that would make you fall? >> no.
>> you just trip over something? >> i don't remember. >> somebody help you fall? >> no. >> no? is it safe to assume that probably something more than you falling happened that you just don't want to talk about? >> i don't -- >> who do you live with? >> woods. >> woods? >> what's his first name? >> i don't know? >> how long you live together? >> probably eight months. >> eight months. and you think you are safe going back to the same cell? >> yeah. >> you don't think you'll fall again? >> no. >> you think for whatever reason you fell for this time is over with and you won't fall more? >> should be. >> we have to protect you. >> i fell. >> you don't want to talk about what happened? >> trying to get medical attention. >> i will get you nixed up. they have done x-raies right? >> he reported he fell in his cell which is typical in prison instead of snitching on anybody
they say they fell or had a seizure. it looks like his jaw is broken or his orbital is fractured. staff think that something was done with a hot pot. there was a hot pot inside cell that was broke. the cell mate is in cuffs. >> the cell mate is dana woods serving 70 years for aggravated battery and confinement. >> there was an incident in the cell. >> the man fell. >> substantial injuries for just falling. >> i'm sure he has epileptic seizures. >> there was a lot of blood in the cell. >> right. he had a good gash on his head. >> how did the hot pot get
broke? >> the hot pot? >> it was in the cell. >> we were fixing a hot pot before and it had been in the trash the whole time. >> i can tell you i have been here 15 years and nobody had a fall that looked like that. >> he fell on the bed. >> i'm not going to tell you what he told me just like i wouldn't tell anybody else what you told me if you were beat up. i'm not going to start doing that now. he might have told me he fell and might have said you beat the [ bleep ] out of him. >> that didn't happen. >> you are running around here assaulting people and i'm convinced you did this. but you're not going to man up and tell me why it happened? >> the man sprayed blood all over the place. >> that's not the truth at all and we both know it. so -- i'll -- i'll make different housing arrangements for you if you don't want to tell me what was going on. he's maintaining the story that nothing happened that he didn't do anything.
the guy fell. so at this point, you know, we'll go in and look at the cell and see what it looks like. >> while violence between cell mates is always a possibility in prison for philip and curt its, living together as had the opposite effect. >> is that that diabetic peanut butter? >> it has no taste to it. >> put the cookie on the peanut butter. >> i have to get rid of this stomach. >> dear heavenly father we thank you for this meal. >> old curt. curt is a good brother, man. he's a gentle giant. he brought a lot of balance into my life. we have been cellies for almost two years. >> stroud never imagined he'd
have a cell mate. he used to be housed on indiana's death row living alone in a cell awaying execution. >> i'm in prison for three counts of murder, three counts of rob i and two counts of dealing in cocaine. i spent three years on death row. went on a robbery. half a million dollar score. it was a residence, a safe. three people -- teleinnocent people end up losing their life when they didn't have to. they didn't deserve to. >> stroud's victims were contractors working at the home stroud and his accomplices robbed. stroud ordered the men tied up and shot each in the head with a
pistol. >> when i first walked on death row, the thing that hit me first was the silence. the absolute silence. walking on there was the type of silence that takes you in, the type of silence that's listening to you watching your every move to see how you're going to respond to it. i came on the unit 23 years old, trying to project courage, confidence and strength but on the inside, i was upset. i was confused and i was afraid. the thing i remember the most was the cold concrete floor underneath my bare feet. and it just sitting on the edge of that bunk, man, and i just broke down and started crying and crying for all the people that i hurt crying for justice crying for my mother. you know what i mean and during those three years, seven men, you know were executed they lost their lives.
>> a change in indiana's capital punishment laws saved stroud from joining them. his sentence was commuted to three life terms without the possibility of parole. but stroud's salvation did not immediately make him a better inmate. >> i was the thug of them all. i was a chief among all sinners. i was the bullies' bully. i could make things move how i wanted to make them move. that was just a gift that i had. >> that all changed when he found himself sharing a cell with mcgrown who is serving 40 years for armed robbery and criminal confinement. >> when i first came over he was rough around the edges. me being a mellow type guy. i'm low key god came through me to help straighten him out a little bit.
>> starting to thin out on the top. >> that's my sunroof. >> your convertible. >> bald head brothers is in. women like bald headed dudes. >> he's changed a whole lot. i'm proud that god used me to work with him after his reputation around the prison and on the street. >> i'm just thankful that i can be used and i got a brother like this that brought so much balance to my life. >> just as he credits mcgrown with helping him become a better man stroud is determined to pay it forward. he tutors other inmates who are trying to earn their g.e.d. >> what is the answer? >> the front. >> no. the opposite of left is --? >> i'm tripping. >> don't get [ indiscernible ] no. >> we just here trying to offer
critical thinking skills, conflict resolution, ways to settle disputes without using violence. use the creditability from our past lives to effect positive change on these youngster's lives in here and on the streets. you're doing good, man. you catch on quick, man. coming up two cell mates with two unthinkable crimes. and later -- >> what have you seen so far? >> surveillance footage provides a new view as investigators try to figure out what happened to curt its cash.
inmates live in two-man cells and like any two people sharing close quarters, cleanliness is vitale. >> why are you sweeping with your hands? >> i don't like using the broom that everybody uses. then i'm bringing their funk in my cell. >> when do you think we're doing spring cleaning? >> it's not going to be today. i'm already cleaning the floor.
>> i was just asking. >> i will make time for it this weekend. >> sunday just plan on sunday. >> cell mates for a year these two might have different priorities but they share the stigma of having separately committed unthinkable crimes. >> from day one i've known that the things that i've done even among criminals was way, way off it, you know the end of the deep end. i was younger, i was a very, very bad person. something was broken. and i just -- i didn't think like other kids my age did.
forward. >> trowbridge was high on inhalents and his victim was a 69-year-old female neighbor working in the backyard of her trailer home. >> i see that her front door is open and me being the person that i was that clicked. okay. go get some money. and that was my intent when i went up in there. and she came in and she actually scared me when she came in because i didn't know that she came in. and i attacked her and i sexually assaulted her and i killed her. and i robbed her. and i left. the poor woman didn't stand a chance. >> prosecutors determined that trowbridge not only strangled
his victim but sexually assaulted her after her death. he was sentenced to 77 years for robbery, murder and abuse of a corpse. he has served 15 and with good behavior could be out of prison by age 50. he lives in wabash's protective custody unit which houses inmates whose lives could be at risk in general population due to the nature of their crimes. his cell mate shares the same unusual pairing of convictions, murder and abuse of a corpse. he is serving 68 years. the victim was his ex-girlfriend, heather norris. >> it was a toxic relationship. it was love hate and i still
very much love her. >> throughout the couple's three-year relationship, heather told her family that bean was abusive and even though he faced a trial on domestic abuse charges at the time of heather's murder he says he wasn't abusive. >> it was predicated on a lie. the lie is that we had a violent relationship. i'm not saying i'm without fault. but as far as what happened with her death, worst case voluntary manslaughter and best case self-defense. >> he insists that heather came at him with a knife. >> i pried the knife out of her hand and even still after i had the knife she continued to come forward. that caught me off guard. and in the heat of the moment, i
reacted. i stabbed her in the side right here. >> but according to court records, bean had confessed to a friend that he stabbed heather several times and slit her throat. no one knows for sure because her body was never recovered. >> i decided to try to do something with the body. i thought, well, cremation. but at the time i didn't know the specifics behind it. so i made an attempt to burn her body. a botched attempt. i ended up buying a chain saw. that's what people can't get past. is what happened after. >> coming up the mother of josh bean's victim speaks out. >> i go by a dumpster and i
wonder if that is one of my daughter's last resting places. >> but first. >> looks like he tried to clean the blood up before the staff arrived. there is blood on the bedding and on the back window. >> reporter: the investigators try to determine if a cell is an accident scene or a crime scene. and -- >> [ music playing ] >> saved from death row, fill internship stroud leads .
victim don't tell on me. tell them you fell. >> littlejohn suspects that woods might have used the hot pot to assault his cell mate. >> the hot pot was down in the trash. >> littlejohn's next step is to create the cell itself. >> you can see a little blood here. looks like he tried to clean the blood up before the staff arrived. there is blood on the bedding and some on the back window. it is probably a little struggle. it looks like he packed his property. that is typical. they pack their stuff up so the officers don't get things mixed up. he is ready to go to
segregation. he knew he would be going. >> littlejohn checks the surveillance footage. while there is no coverage inside the cell he wants to rule out the possibility of another assay lent entering the cell. >> what have you seen? >> nobody goes up or comes out. >> nobody has been in or out between breakfast or lunch. >> you see the officers are at the cell. this is offender cash. he is the offender with the injuries. this is the cell mate coming up. >> the video doesn't show an assault taking place. it shows that nobody entered or exited the cell other than the two and they didn't come out for breakfast or for lunch. >> woods was taken to the custody control unit where he will be locked into a single person cell 23 hours a day pending the results of the investigation. >> go ahead and strip down.
socks and everything. everything. put that on. >> they put us in a room. they don't give us no manual to teach us how to live in a box with another man. it's really hard. it's really hard, man. especially when they have a seizure any time and you get blamed for it. >> coming up, joshua bean faces new troubles following a shakedown. >> you are presenting positive for methamphetamine. >> and later his victim's mother talks about the bra you falsity of her daughter's murder. >> i have nightmares of heather's last moments were calling out for me to help her.
it's where to be. locked up. yeah. the steps you don't want to follow because life without parole is a hard pill to swallow. tomorrow isn't promised because today isn't finished. i can feel the tension when there is drama in the building. there is nowhere for you to hide. i suggest you stay away from here and follow god. prison life is hard. locked up. locked up, everybody locked up. this ain't the place you want to be because prison life is hard. locked up, locked up, everybody locked up. this ain't the place you want to be because prison life is hard. make different choices than the ones i made.
stay free. keep it real. peace. >> though phillip stroud will never live life beyond the fences of the wabash valley correctional facility he has found other means of liberation. ♪ >> music to me is more important than food or water or than anything. it makes me free. it just makes me free, you know. ♪ >> stroud leads the prison choir. they perform during sunday church services and at special events and his cell mate curtis mcgrown has been a source of help and inspiration. >> you have your choice and you should have made a change. there is nowhere to left to hide. i cutting suggest you stay away
from here and followed to go. i know it is hard out on them streets but prison life is harder. >> that is one of the best ones i have heard him sing right there. >> he raps a lot and sings a lot. he will be waking me up at 3:00 to write a rap for church or a letter. i am a mentor toward him. >> what position am i playing in the choir? >> doo-doo-doo-doo. >> i can't doo-doo-doo. >> i just stereo typed you based on your stomach. >> that's all right. be gone. >> ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch likes knows know ♪ stroud is serving three life
sentences without the possibility of patrol for murder. >> i'm using my street credibility my music to influence them in a different direction because i am mindful that it is a lot of people who do look towards me. >> ♪ amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me ♪ >> it has been 11 years since the triple murder that brought stroud to prison. for the past several years he has a clean conduct record and is committed to become agnew man, one very icht -- than the one who wreaked havoc on the streets. >> if you had something that that i wanted your girlfriend, your car, your money, your territory, whatever, if i wanted
that, i was coming to get that. if you tried to come get it from me then i was coming to get you. if i'm coming to see you, it was over with. i would be the last person that you would see. i was the nuclear option. [ music playing ] >> at the end of the day, life is about choices. all of this stuff is an illusion, the life i led on the streets, the dope dealing, the gang banging, the getting drunk and getting high. if you want to keep it real make better choices than the ones we made. it can lead you down three paths, death, a life in prison or an empty existence on the streets. >> one man band.
>> while stroud uses music to escape the restraints of prison many others turn to drugs. and despite the efforts of staff drugs are smuggled into the prison. traffic and abuse pose security problems. security officers conduct surprise shakedowns to find drugs. inmates are required to give urine samples. today's target is the protective custody unit. >> two-man teams. bring them out and set them down. >> 504. >> remember these guys are all in protective custody. put a little space between them. >> opposite end. >> among those to to be searched and tested are two of wabash's high-profile inmates, joshua bean and dustin trowbridge.
>> open 504. >> shortly after bean and trowbridge are allowed back this their cell, corrections officers return to administer the drug tests. >> we test for morphine, oxy, meth, cocaine and marijuana. >> bean. >> the containers are designed with a drug detection patch that provides immediate results. all right. bean, right? i have you showing positive for
methamphetamine. that's your testing. you want it sent to the lab. >> send it to the lab. >> he can request a second test from a lab. he is confident it is because of a prescription drug he is allowed to take. >> i'm on wellbutrin. >> getting narcotics back here is next to impossible. so you know i don't have a doubt when it goes to the lab i'll be all right. >> for bean, a positive drug test could result in a transfer out of the protective custody unit where the high-profile nature of his crime, the murder of his ex-girlfriend and destroying her corpse could make him a target among other inmates. >> i have not been anywhere in the county to in prison that i didn't see someone who knew who i was.
i tested positive for pot maybe a year or two ago and they took me to a disciplinary unit g-house. i was over there for a half hour and had four or five people say, look, if you don't get out of here we're just going to straight stab you. coming up, investigators reach conclusions on both curtis cash and bean.
control unit until the investigation was completed. >> it appeared on the scene that cash had been assaulted by woods with a hot pot. he sustained lacerations to his face, multiple bruising to his neck and all over his body where it appeared to us he had been kicked. >> but both cell mates are sticking to the story that cash's injuries were the result of falling down in the cell. >> because of the lack of cooperation from the alleged assailant and the alleged victim we did not file any external or internal charges on mr. woods or mr. cash. >> both of these guys have a lot of years left in prison. it's normal for the victim not to want to talk. he is not going to want to be labeled as snitch. that will further the probability of being assaulted in the future. he is maintaining the story that
he fell. >> woods was released from the custody control unit and returned to general population. but he has a new cell assignment in a new housing unit. >> you got to get along in here. you got to. >> we get along good. >> have you seen cash since the altercation? >> no. he's on the other side of the prison. >> did you guys leave on good terms? >> of course. >> over in the protective custody unit joshua bean has received word on his ongoing investigation. after testing positive for methamphetamine during a recent shake down bean requested an outside lab do its own test. the results came back negative backing up bean's claims. i take wellbutrin. that pretty much means you test positive for methamphetamine.
that's what i figured it would be from the beginning. i knew i wasn't doing anything. >> open your mouth. >> although the drug creates problems when he is tested, according to bean it has become his lifeline. he says he needs the medication to cope with the anxiety and stress of being incarcerated for murder of his girlfriend. >> and you know just when i think i have a grip on it, these wounds are scar tissue, i thought was healed just opens back up all over again. and you know i'm -- sometimes partially in tears, sometimes i just want to hit the off switch when i don't have one. there's no on and off to a lot of this stuff. it happens when it happens and i just got to deal with it. >> on the eve of his 30th birthday bean's cell mate dustin
trowbridge has spent nearly half of his life in prison for murdering and assaulting a 69-year-old woman. he too attempts to make peace with the past. >> i didn't used to like myself. i had a will the of hatred towards myself for a long time. only the back of my arms it says freak of nature. you know, i started seeing things completely different. i started understanding things different too. and i changed. i don't want to say it's because i found god or anything like that. that all came afterwards. that didn't come until years after i figured out what a piece of crap i used to be. >> i can never ask you to forgive me.
>> they reach out to the women they not only murdered but whose bodies they desecrated. >> i never would have hurt you. >> but the mother of bean's victim has a different account skbhchlt i know that heather was beat by him at least four so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. to me, relationships matter.
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more than 2,000 inmates are housed behind the walls of the wabash valley correctional facility. but housing assignments are temporary as these two cell mates found out. they were moved from their larger corner cell to a smaller one on the other side of the unit. >> why did they move you out of the corner area? >> did you see the dude in that cell now? >> he is a bit bigger.
he needed that cell a bit more than we did. >> they moved you out of that cell because there was a bigger guy moving in? >> it was a handicapped cell. we are both kind of small. i'm bigger than him but the guy bigger than me needed that cell more than me. they looked like they was in a match box when we moved in here. >> but for stroud the only thing that changed is the view. >> to me it's all prison. you know, that's how i look at it. whether the cell was ten times this sides or half this size i might have been in worse situations. i just look at it like we are still in prison and can't go home. the only environment is this environment right here, you know what i mean. i got a nice view. i got a view that i look at now and it's really -- >> step over here so you can see. >> to young person or anybody
who think that coming to prison is cool or whatever. come here. that's what i got the look at for the rest of my life. those wires. that might be the closest that i ever get to freedom is close but it's far away. that's what lock up is. that is what my extended stay is like. that's for real. that's real life. it's not high like in the movies. it ain't none of that, man. this is my bed. when i look out the window that's what i see. >> dustin trowbridge keeps a record of the cells he occupied over the last 15 years. >> i wrote down where i was every birthday since i been here. 15th was in the drunk tank in the county jail. 16th was in the cell above me.
17th was on the right side. 18th was on the right side. >> trowbridge has decided to write a letter to the elderly woman he robbed, murdered and sexually assaulted. >> i can never ask you to forgive me for the herbal things i did to you. i am sorry i stole your sense of security when i snuck in your home and stole your sense of accomplishment and endeavors. i am sorry astole your dignity. i'm sorry i stole you from your loved ones when i very cowardly took the life that god gave you. there is no words that can ever suppress how sorry i am.
to those who knew and loved [ bleep ] i'm sorry and will not ask for giveness either. every day for over half my life not a moment has gone by when i didn't hang my head in guilt and shame. that's it. >> why did you feel the need to write that? >> well, i think it was -- this was as much for myself as it was for anybody else's sake. i this is going to sound kind of silly but i really didn't -- couldn't comprehend death until someone i knew -- until i had experienced that loss. and it -- it kind of put things in a completely different perspective when my grandma died. trowbridge's cell mate wrote a letter to his victim heather,
his former girlfriend who he stabbed to death. >> i cannot push these emotions to the darkest place in my mind any more. i suppressed so much. your parents think i abused and beat you on multiple occasions and your friends think i controlled and forced you to believe with me. i never wanted anything over than your love, babe. i never would have hurt you. yet you are dead and i might as well be. >> but debby norris, heather's mother says that bean is a liar. >> i know that heather was beaten by him at least four times, four times that were pretty bad. one time she ended up going to the hospital after a beating. two of those beatings she pressed charges and he was arrested on one charge and the other charge was pending when he
killed her. >> debby norris did not allow her daughter to die in vain. after heather's death she led the effort that resulted in the passing of heather's law which made domestic violence education a requirement in indiana high schools. >> i'm trying to educate the young people on what a healthy relationship is and the signs they need to look for and what to do and that there are people out there that care and there are resources for them to turn to. when you're in abusive relationship and you decide to go back, you are going the hear the words i'm sorry. i've changed. i'll never do it again. i love you. and you want to believe it. so you end up going back and i believe that's what heather did.
>> i mean she loved me. i know she did. when she -- when she was -- after she got off me i had stabbed her right here she lay down. ahead her in my arms and before she died she said i love you and those were her last words. >> during his sentencing one of the things that he did say was heather's last words that i love you, josh. i will never believe that. i have nightmares that heather's last moments was calling out for me to help her because she had done that so many times before. i don't see where this would have been any different. >> one fact that is indisputable is that bean attempted to get
away with murdering heather by dismembering her body with a chain saw and placing the parts in trash dumpsters throughout indianapolis. heather's body was never recovered. >> i go by a dumpster and i wonder if that's one of my daughter's last resting places. i see black trash bags and it makes me sick. i hear a chain saw and i have to get away. so much is different, obviously. he took heather's life. but he took mine. he took her dad's. he took her family's. he took her friends'. nobody is the same. nobody has ever stopped missing heather.
a convicted sex offender becomes the victim of a brutal assault that leaves some unconscious and in the hospital. his assailants say the attack was warranted. >> i'm proud of him because [ bleep ] went to the hospital. >> what they don't know might bring regret. >> let me tell you the facts of the case. >> yes, sir.