Emily Rice Published

Two Former Corrections Officers Plead Guilty In Inmate Death

A line of jail cells.Lettas/Adobe Stock

Steven Nicholas Wimmer and Andrew Fleshman each pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with other officers to use unreasonable force against an inmate identified as “Q.B.” in court documents.

Wimmer and Fleshman are former corrections officers from the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, West Virginia. On March 1, 2022, the officers admitted assaulted Q.B. resulting in his death.

According to their plea agreements, Wimmer and Fleshman each acknowledged that they separately responded to a call for officer assistance after Q.B. tried to push past another correctional officer and leave his assigned pod and that, when each arrived at the pod, Q.B. was on the floor as force was being used against him.

The officers then restrained and handcuffed Q.B. 

Wimmer, Fleshman and other members of the conspiracy then escorted Q.B. to an interview room where members of the conspiracy aided and abetted each other, struck and injured Q.B. while he was restrained, handcuffed and posed no threat.

Wimmer and Fleshman each admitted that the members of the conspiracy struck and injured Q.B. in order to punish him for attempting to leave his assigned pod.

In his plea agreement, Fleshman admits that he was one of the members who injured Q.B. while he was restrained and posed no threat. He further admitted that he and others moved Q.B. from the interview room into a cell, where members of the conspiracy continued to strike and injure Q.B. while he was restrained, handcuffed and posed no threat to anyone.

Wimmer also admitted to striking and injuring Q.B. after he was brought to the cell in his plea agreement.

Wimmer and Fleshman each pleaded guilty on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023 before U.S. District Court Judge Frank W. Volk. They each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Sentencing hearings are scheduled for Feb. 22, 2024.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney William S. Thompson for the Southern District of West Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Michael D. Nordwall of the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Pittsburgh Field Office is investigating the case.

Deputy Chief Christine M. Siscaretti and Trial Attorney Matthew Tannenbaum of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Deputy Criminal Chief Monica Coleman for the Southern District of West Virginia are prosecuting the case.