The Alabama corrections officer stabbed by an inmate inside Holman Prison earlier this month has died.
Corrections Officer Kenneth Bettis, 44, of Monroeville succumbed to his injuries at 5:35 p.m. on Friday at the University of South Alabama Hospital in Mobile. Family members were by Bettis’ side at the time of his death.
On September 1, Bettis was stabbed by inmate Cleveland Cunningham, who was angry for being denied an extra tray of food inside the facility’s dining hall.
Cunningham is serving a 20-year sentence on a 2013 first-degree robbery conviction out of Baldwin County. The charges against Cunningham will be upgraded from attempted murder to murder.
“On behalf of the Alabama Department of Corrections, I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Bettis’ family during this tragic loss. Officer Bettis was known among his colleagues as a firm, but fair corrections officer, and was highly respected for his work ethic and dedicated service to his profession,” said Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn.
Bettis had served as a corrections officer at Holman since 2009. In addition, the officer was a military veteran and had served on active duty in Iraq with the Alabama Army National Guard. Bettis’ military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Service Star.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Officer Kenneth Bettis during this very difficult time,” Governor Bentley said. “Officer Bettis was a dedicated civil servant taking on the difficult role of corrections officer. I want to thank Officer Bettis and his family for his years of service to the people of Alabama, through his work at Holman Correctional Facility and his time serving in the Alabama Army National Guard.”