A convicted murderer sentenced to an added 15-year term for assaulting a fellow inmate told an Anne Arundel County judge yesterday that he is being threatened in prison by gang members and was forced to resort to violence to protect himself.
Richard Janey, 43, is serving a 30-year sentence at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland for the murder of an Annapolis woman in 1994. Janey was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 29-year-old Susan McAteer, who was stabbed 58 times.
Janey was housed previously at the now-shuttered Maryland House of Correction in Jessup, where on July 4, 2006, he threw hot baby oil at a fellow inmate who was bringing him breakfast, according to prosecutor Ann Colt Leitess.
The inmate suffered second-degree burns to his face, neck and shoulder, but has refused to cooperate with prosecutors, authorities said.
Leitess, who said that Janey could have received up to 25 years in prison for the assault, called his criminal record "atrocious, to say the least."
"They're just making me play ghetto gladiator," Janey said yesterday in court. "And that's not right. I'm not going to roll over and let these people kill me."
Janey has been convicted of assault in prison before. In June 1998, one year was added to his sentence after he threw batteries at a correctional officer.
Janey told Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch that he witnessed a jailhouse stabbing and that, "as a result, my life was on contract." He says that while being transported from the House of Correction, after it was closed in March 2007, "three [inmates] tried to strangle me on the bus."
Janey's attorney, Heather E. Tierney, told the court that her client has been diagnosed with depression and delusional and anti-social disorders. She said that according to his "voluminous" psychological file, Janey has been characterized by prison psychologists as paranoid.
"I think he was sort of desperate, and it was his way to say, 'Look, I need help,'" Tierney said of Janey's assault on the fellow prisoner in 2006. "What Mr. Janey really wants is to be by himself because of his fears."
Tierney asked that the judge recommend that Janey be transferred to the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, where he could receive psychiatric treatment. The judge granted the request.
Janey told the judge, "If you force me into a situation where I got to protect myself ... I don't want to fight these people. ... I'm not going to join a gang. ... What can I do?"