Nathan Redcap tied shanks to his hands, stuffed magazines in his sweatshirt for protection, then ambushed another inmate at the Utah State Prison.
Redcap — who was in prison for raping a woman in 2001 — prepared for the Nov. 29, 2005, attack by fashioning rope out of bedsheets. He used the rope to hold his armor and shanks in place. When the guards let him out of his cell to do laundry, he grabbed his bag but hid in a shower.
Redcap, now 30, waited until fellow inmate Cameron Wilson walked by. Then he struck. Video footage showed Wilson retreating, then the two men circled each other and moved off camera. When guards found the men moments later, Wilson had suffered a series of cuts and wounds, including one that just barely missed his carotid artery.
Guards also discovered Redcap had two improvised blades tied to his hands. One was a 4-inch-long piece of metal, likely made from the bolt in the handle of a crutch. The other was a 10-inch-long piece of hollow tubing, that was probably part of a crutch leg, according to a prison guard.
The entire story is told in Utah Court of Appeals documents, released Thursday, that uphold Redcap’s conviction on one count of aggravated assault and two counts possession of prohibited items in a correctional facility, all second-degree felonies. A jury convicted Redcap in February 2011.
According to Thursday’s ruling, Redcap had asked for a new trial by arguing, among other things, that prosecutors didn’t turn over all of the evidence in the case, which impaired his defense. He also argued that prosecutors misbehaved when they compared inmates to animals and made other comments, and that his own attorneys failed him, the documents reveal.
However, the Utah Court of Appeals disagreed with Redcap, saying that his rights were not violated during his trial. That means Redcap will continue serving a prison sentence that includes life for the original rape as well as up to 30 more years for the prison fight.
Redcap also is serving a one to 15 year prison sentence for sexually abusing another inmate.
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