published Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Tears flow during hearing in Alabama prison beating

By PHILLIP RAWLS

Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Tears flowed in a Montgomery courtroom when the family of an Alabama inmate who was beaten to death told stories about the victim during a sentencing hearing for four former prison employees who participated in the beating or helped cover it up.

Larry Mack said his son, Rocrast Mack, wanted to be a carpenter like his father before getting into trouble for drugs and going to prison. He said Rocrast Mack's 6-year-old son, Rocrast Mack Jr., still asks when he is going to see his father again. Mack said, "I tell him he's gone to heaven."

Mack and other family members testified today in the sentencing hearing for four former prison employees. One of the four, Joseph Sanders, apologized to the family in court.

The hearing continues Thursday.

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