Man given toilet duty for urinating on inmates

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A former Greene County jailer was ordered Monday to scrub toilets while serving 15 days behind bars for urinating from a roof onto four inmates playing basketball below.

Justin K. Hastings, 23, of Springfield was given the cleaning task as part of his "shock time" so that he might better understand what it was like to be dependent on those with power, Greene County Circuit Judge Don Burrell said.

Hastings, who has since resigned from the sheriff's department, also was given two years of probation and 150 hours of community service. He was convicted in June of four misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault.

The inmates said some of the urine fell on them as they played basketball on July 29, 2001. A couple of them said they looked up, thinking it was rain.

Hastings admitted during trial that he knew prisoners were in the room when he and another jailer urinated through a roof grate.

A DNA expert testified that urine samples taken from the jail roof could be linked to Hastings. But defense attorneys contended there was no proof that Hastings' urine -- and not the other jailer's -- hit the inmates.

Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Cynthia Rushefsky has said the case was one of the most bizarre she had worked.

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