Home Powhatan County inmate charged with trying to have two VADOC employees murdered

Powhatan County inmate charged with trying to have two VADOC employees murdered

Chris Graham
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A state prison inmate stands accused of trying to solicit the murder of two Virginia Department of Corrections staffers.

A Powhatan County grand jury has indicted Richard Joseph Bottoms, 49, on two counts of soliciting felony murder and four counts related to violations of a protective order.

According to the VADOC, Bottoms filed a later-unfounded Prison Rape Elimination Act claim against a VADOC employee at State Farm Correctional Center in June 2023, and harassed the employee following the claim.

A court in Henrico County issued a protective order, prohibiting Bottoms from contacting the employee.

Bottoms violated the court order through third-party contact in November, which prompted the VADOC Victim Services Unit to open an investigation that resulted in Bottoms and two additional inmates receiving institutional infractions.

Following the institutional charges, Bottoms solicited another inmate to murder both the State Farm Correctional Center employee and the lead investigator from the Victim Services Unit.

Neither of the state employees were harmed.

A trial date in the case has not been set.

“Harassing members of our correctional team will not be tolerated, and our department will seek prosecution of employee harassment to the fullest extent of the law,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “Corrections employees face difficult situations every day and do so with professionalism and pride. They should not face harassment and retaliation from inmates at any point. I thank Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Cerullo and his office for investigating this matter and holding this inmate accountable for such dangerous actions.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].