- By Laura A. Bischoff Columbus Bureau
UPDATE, Feb. 26: The two inmates suspected in the brutal attack on a corrections officer last week have been moved to the Ohio State Penitentiary, according to the state Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website.
Inmates Casey Pigge and Greg Reinke are listed as incarcerated at the “super max” prison near Youngstown. The two had been at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, a high-security prison near Lucasville.
While state officials have not yet named the suspects, the union that represents prison workers identified Pigge and Reinke as the prisoners suspected of stabbing Corrections Officer Matthew Mathias dozens of times with metal weapons. Mathias was airlifted to a hospital in Huntington, W.V. for emergency treatment.
DRC spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Monday “Officer Mathias remains stable and he is showing positive signs of progress.”
Three-time killer Casey Pigge and a second convicted murderer are suspects in a brutal attack on a corrections officer at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, according to the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, the union that represents prison workers.
Pigge was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother, his cellmate in Lebanon Correctional and another inmate on a prison bus.
OCSEA spokeswoman Sally Meckling said Pigge, 30, and inmate Greg Reinke, 37, are suspects in the attack on the guard, who was airlifted to a hospital in West Virginia with several dozen stab wounds. “It was bad. He is still in the hospital. There were multiple, multiple stab wounds,” she said.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction identified the guard as Matthew Mathias.
“Matt underwent surgery yesterday afternoon and is still in the Neuro/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at St. Mary’s Medical Center, in Huntington, W.Va. He is considered in stable condition,” said DRC spokeswoman JoEllen Smith in an email. “There is an active investigation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the facility is currently on lock down. Because there is an active investigation, I cannot provide any additional information at this time.”
A spokesman for the Ohio Highway Patrol, which is investigating the attack, said the suspect won’t be identified until charges are filed.
Reinke is serving a life sentence for aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglarly, drug possession, intimidation and other charges.
When Pigge appeared in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court in September, he was guarded by three armed SWAT officers from DRC. He was sentenced to 25 years to life for the strangling and beating death of inmate David Johnson, 61, on a prison bus on Feb. 1.
Family of Springfield victim suing state
Pigge was on the bus after appearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court where he pleaded guilty to the February 2016 beating death of his cellmate, Luther Wade, of Springfield. He told authorities that he tricked Wade into wearing a blindfold as part of a card game and then used a wall cinder block to beat Wade to death.
After Wade’s murder, prison officials found a hole in the wall between two high-security cells so large that Pigge regularly shimmied through it so he could visit and play cards with the prisoners next door.
Wade’s family is now suing the state of Ohio in the Ohio Court of Claims, saying DRC staff knew that inmates were removing wall blocks but failed to inspect cells and protect Wade. The lawsuit said Wade was sent to R-block, a high-security section, as punishment for smoking cigarettes.
In November 2009, Pigge pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated arson and other charges and received a sentence of 30 years to life in prison. In that case, he killed his ex-girlfriend’s mother, Rhonda Sommers, and set her home on fire on Sept. 5, 2008.
A clinical psychologist determined in that case that Pigge is mentally impaired, making him ineligible for capital punishment, court records show.