• Murder charged in 2nd Menard prison inmate death

    by  • April 5, 2013 • News

    According to The Southern, a first-degree murder charge has been filed against a Menard Correctional Center prisoner in connection with the Feb. 25 death of inmate Yusuf Abuzir.

    Donald Hazzard

    Donald Hazzard

    Donald Hazzard, 23, was scheduled to be released from Menard today. Instead, Hazzard will be transferred to Randolph County Jail and held on $750,000 bond for Abuzir’s murder, Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker said.

    Abuzir, 64, died in the prison infirmary about a month after he was assaulted, allegedly by Hazzard.

    Walker said authorities had to move quickly because of Hazzard’s release today. Hazzard was serving a 4-year, 6-month sentence on a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm in McClean County.

    Walker said he expected Hazzard to make his first appearance in Randolph County court Monday.

    James Amison, 40, also has a Randolph County court date at 1 p.m. Monday in connection with the Jan. 31 murder of Jason Hall, 25.

    Yusuf Abuzir

    Yusuf Abuzir

    Amison and Hall were cellmates at Menard.

    Walker said authorities are still waiting on results of an autopsy in the suspicious death of William Crowder on March 26.

    Crowder was the third Menard inmate to die under suspicious circumstances this year, all six inmates were housed in two-man cells in the facility’s segregation unit.

    Both Amison and Crowder’s cellmate were transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center within days after the incidents involving their cellmates.