Medina's attorneys say the state transferred Medina to CCA’s Saguaro facility and CCA failed to take reasonable steps to address Clifford’s vulnerability. Instead, CCA officials housed Medina with violent inmates, including gang members, and did not take adequate precautions to ensure his safety.
Medina was placed in a segregation cell with prisoner Mahinauli Silva, 22, who was serving up to 10 years for robbery, burglary and theft. Silva was reportedly a member of the dominant prison gang at Saguaro and was known to have anger control problems.
Shortly before the murder, Silva told CCA officials to move Medina to another cell or he would attack him. According to a witness, a CCA employee replied, "As long as you two don’t kill each other, I don’t care."
On June 8, 2010, Silva murdered Medina by strangling him to death in their shared cell. Although CCA staff conducted rounds in the housing unit, periodically looked in the cell and even spoke with Silva while Medina lay dead or dying, they did not become aware that Medina was dead until Silva later notified them.
Attorneys say while Hawaii prisoners Medina and Nunuha were killed at the CCA-run Saguaro prison in Arizona in 2010, no state prisoners were murdered in DPS-operated facilities in Hawaii during that same year.
In addition to the murders of Medina and Nunuha, over a dozen Hawaii prisoners have filed lawsuits against CCA claiming that the company has tolerated beatings and sexual assaults in its mainland facilities, and has refused to let them participate in native Hawaiian religious practices.
Additionally, in 2009, Hawaii removed all of its female inmates from CCA’s Otter Creek Correctional Center in Kentucky following a scandal that resulted in at least six CCA employees being charged with rape or sexual misconduct.
The state Attorney General's office says it is looking over the filing and will take the appropriate course of action.