Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice’s Prison-Assisted Death Matches – By Jason Renard Walker

Jason Renard Walker #1532092

Wayne Scott Unit

4 Jester Road

Richmond, TX 77406

The thought of being locked inside a small two-man cell to defend yourself against a homemade knife-wielding maniac should be a scary one.

Yet one’s fear, or lack thereof, can actually determine who walks out alive, or are the least butchered. Such occurrences become so common that prisoners normally fear missing a commissary spend more than they fear encounters with a death match.

During my more-than-14-year stay in various Texas prisons, I’ve had the misfortune to witness many in-cell death matches that often resulted in the victims dying. On several occasions the victims came out victorious. One of the victors being me for the second time, and the others, lucky ducks.

But the element that turns situations into death matches is the fact that, once the cell door closes, you are on your own. No guard or prisoner will, or can, save you. And in rare situations, their mutual agreement is what drew the match.

It seems that these times in particular, are the few times a cell door, which could let the victim out, “malfunctions”, or a guard just happens to take a hard nap while in earshot of the stranging. A prison-assisted death match.

And of course you know where I’m going with this in terms of being thrown to the Connally Unit. As the story goes…

Simultaneous Death Matches

As I observed an hours-long standoff between two shank-wielding inmates in one cell, right underneath me, in another cell, two inmates fought for their lives on the locked-down morning of Nov 10 2022. The sound of bodies slamming against the steel toilet, wall, and door, reminded me of what a death match sounds like.

“I didn’t tuck my tail” said one of the shank-wielding inmates, who’d happened upon a shank his cellmate hid. Then, after the sound of his cellmate dropping another, he jumped up off his bunk, back against the door, then held his position. “We was at a standoff for over an hour” he told others after he managed to get staff assistance and get out of the cell. “That fool was psyched out”, he concluded.

The hour or so delay was due to staff’s failure to do their periodical walkthroughs and wellness checks. Just as it took the same amount of time to get one of the fighters out, who hollered to the staffers responding to the standoff for help. But little if anything was done to prevent a recurrence. The two were moved to different cells on the same pod. No reports were filed.

I Survived Two Death Matches

Clements Unit’s Classification Committee staff, Major Alfreda Carreon, Julie Bristow, and possibly others intentionally reassigned me to a cell with a documented white supremacist, Mark Johnson, on Nov 12 2020. This was after I refused to live with another (Ben McAlpine).

Mark was under investigation for aiding and abetting an attempted murder on a guard who worked in the kitchen with them.

An hour or so later, he received a message from a kitchen worker. And a shank, although I didn’t see the shank at the time.

He tried to sneak and stab me, but I managed to disarm him and take the knife. He immediately admitted that speakers of a white supremacist ground sent him drugs, a shank, and a message on who I was and to kill me. He claimed it was coercion.

A guard named Amare happened to walk past. Mark flagged him down, and admitted that he and another white supremacist, Ben McAlpine, were ordered to kill me, and turned over the drugs and note as evidence. I held him at bay until I was removed from the cell, with the shank hidden. It was obvious he wasn’t conditioned for resistance, which is why he tried to surprise attack me, and folded after.

As a chain reaction, guards searched Ben’s cell and found a shank, notes sent to him with my name in them, and orders to kill me. They’d caught him in the middle of replying back, and confiscated those too.  Ben did admit that his recruitment into the group was motivation to take the order, but my refusal to live with him several weeks prior foiled the plan. 

Major Carreon and Bristow agreed that the situation wasn’t a threat to me, and attempted to have me housed where I’d just left. But I managed to get a message to outside supporters, who pressed the unit for answers. Up till that point, my incoming and outgoing mail was being intercepted by someone, besides magazines. 

Captain Miller responded, and was the one who told me about what they’d found in Ben’s cell, and what he’d said. I was questioned about Mark’s shank, but it was never found.

Shortly after exposure of this by Captain Miller, Major Carreon was demoted to an unranked guard and Bristow assigned elsewhere. Carreon quit weeks later. I was transferred to Michael Unit and quickly faced my second, and most bloody, death match.

On Jan 1 2021, a message was somehow sent from Clements to Michael Unit. A black inmate and a guard paid my cellmate to take on the challenge. I later learned that the guard was related to a guard at the Clements Unit, and this attempt had been arranged a week in advance, a follow up on the attempt the day before.

As I was drinking water, my cellmate tried to club me in the head with a fan motor welded to a stick. I blocked it with my hand and wrestled it away, yet I was still struck in the eye and suffered a busted palm. 

Two inmates outside the cell door stood guard in case I happened to pop the malfunctioned cell door open. They held free world icepicks in their waist. 

It wasn’t until the tides turned and my cellie lay unconscious, still receiving blows upside the head, that they screamed, hollered, and alerted guards.

My cellmate was sent to the hospital on a helicopter, I was taken to lockup. Most of my property vanished.

The Office of Inspectors General (OIG) took photos of my injuries and launched an investigation.

I initially received a disciplinary case but after a camera review, it was proven that I was attacked, the case vanished, and the OIG declined to file charges for attempted murder.

A Lesson Learned From the Past

Several that were unable to survive their death matches taught me a valuable lesson that would be critical in helping me survive the two I faced after witnessing theirs firsthand. 

Kenneth W. Johnson (Ramsey Unit 2018), Joseph Oguntodu (Allred Unit March 2019), Payaso (Clements Unit 2020) were all murdered in their cell as I either helplessly listened or watched. Several others died in my proximity. 

What all three had in common is that their cellmates were obviously mentally ill, and they were sound asleep before the attack. Two were serving life without parole for heinous capital murders, and were housed with short sentence prisoners that became their next victims.

Knowing that TDCJ has special coffers they use to pay out anticipated wrongful death lawsuits, tells me that they not only know the structural issues that will cause them, they’d rather buy out victims’ families than do something about it.

So I stay alert, keep my ego in check, and only live with those of my choice, not who staff choose for me. As I have survived several administrative attempts to silence me, with many more to come.

Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!

Published by mongoosedistro

"Contains material solely for the purpose of achieving breakdown of prison through disruption" -Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice mailroom

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