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Police & Fire News

January 24, 2012

Official: Prisoner did not directly access Facebook

Department of Correction working with Facebook to remove inmate profiles

CARLISLE — An investigation by the Indiana Department of Correction concluded that a Facebook profile for an inmate from New Albany was being updated by people outside the prison.

 Quintez Deloney, 20, is serving a 38-year sentence at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle. He was convicted of a 2007 burglary that led to the death of 26-year-old Lewis James of Charlestown.

James’ sister, Lisa Cunningham, alerted the Department of Correction on Jan. 9 that she had discovered a Facebook profile for “Quintez Q-Ball Deloney.”

Susan Harrington, spokeswoman for Wabash Valley, said prison officials have completed their investigation.

“From the information gathered, it was learned that Deloney did not have direct access to Facebook. It was a family member and a friend who entered the information and kept him apprised about what was on it,” Harrington said in an email.

Deloney will not be disciplined since the prison’s Disciplinary Policy and Procedure does not cover that type of activity. Harrison said the Facebook page was taken down at their request.

Inmates are not allowed Internet access, and anyone using a fake name or updating a profile for another person violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

The Department of Correction is now working with Facebook to identify and take down any offender profile pages that have either been updated by an offender inside a prison facility or by an intermediary on the outside.

Other states have battled the same issue. The California Department of Corrections announced in August it would work with Facebook to remove offender profiles after a convicted child molester accessed photos of his victim through Facebook.

Cunningham told the News and Tribune that seeing Deloney’s Facebook page was like reliving her brother’s murder. She decided to speak out so others would not go through the same experience.

“It feels like five years ago all over again. It’s like everything just happened again,” Cunningham said shortly after she discovered the profile.

In January 2007, James was shot seven times — four times in the back — at an apartment on William O. Vance Court in New Albany where he went to buy drugs. Floyd County prosecutors alleged Deloney and Lance Douglas, 24, kicked down the door to the apartment and attempted to rob James. When James resisted, he was shot.

Prosecutors claimed Deloney was the shooter. The jury convicted Douglas of murder but found Deloney — represented by attorney Lisa Thalmann — guilty of only robbery and burglary. He was sentenced in May 2009 to 80 years in prison, but that was reduced after the Indiana Court of Appeals found his sentence violated double-jeopardy laws.

The profile for Deloney had 184 friends. Starting July 17, numerous status updates were posted as if they were written by Deloney. One post included his prison mailing address, and another from Oct. 11 talked about his appeal.

On Oct. 15, he wrote, “beat anther case i feel like gotti did ... BRR!”

At one point, someone asked how he had Facebook access in prison. The response: “thats somethang thats kept secret!”

Deloney’s earliest possible release date is 2026, but he hopes to get out before then. Deloney, through his appeals attorney Bruce Brightwell, has filed a motion to correct error. A hearing is set for March 9.

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