Former prison guard gets 99 years for sexual assault of a child

Published on Friday, 15 August 2014 16:41 - Written by BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS, Special Correspondent

GILMER--A 115th District Court jury sentenced a former state prison guard to 99 years in prison Friday after convicting him of aggravated sexual assault of a child, said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd.

Cory Martin Colvin, 34, of Naples, was convicted of sexually assaulting a then-11-year-old girl, Byrd said. The incident occurred at a home near Gilmer July 18, 2013, the prosecutor said.

Colvin was fired from his job as a guard at the Telford Unit in New Boston after his arrest last Aug. 26, said Byrd. Assistant District Attorney Natalie Miller presented a video at trial in which Colvin admitted the crime to sheriff's investigator Jeff Bruhn that day, but Colvin testified "he was forced and coerced into making" a "false confession," Byrd said.

The child and her sister, also a minor, testified Colvin sexually assaulted them, but the defendant accused them of lying, the prosecutor added.

Colvin was living at the girls' home because her mother, a co-worker of his at the prison, had taken him in when he was "down on his luck," said Byrd. Colvin had no prior criminal record.

The girl involved in the charge against the defendant reported the assault to her mother, Byrd said.

The prosecution, led by Ms. Miller and also represented by Byrd and Assistant District Attorney A. Camille Henson, asked for the 99-year term, he said. The defense, represented by court-appointed Gilmer attorney Dwight Brannon, asked jurors to impose what they thought was a "just and fair" sentence, Byrd said.

Jurors took about an hour, including breaks, to find Colvin guilty Friday before taking about an hour to determine the sentence, the district attorney said. Punishment range for the offense is 5 to 99 years, or life imprisonment, and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

115th District Judge Lauren Parish presided in the 2-day trial, which opened Thursday.