Family of Killed prison inmate say FDOC negligence responsible for his death

Published: Jul. 17, 2019 at 10:46 PM EDT
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A woman outraged, after her brother, an inmate at the State's prison was murdered.

She and her husband are now blaming the Florida Department of Corrections for negligence when it comes to inmate safety.

The sister and brother-in-law of William Chapman say that he should not have been in the same room as the men who killed him and that his concerns for his life had not been addressed.

According to the FDOC, "Billy", as he was known to his family, was killed on July 5th in an "inmate assault".

For years, his family says he had been warning them, and prison officials, that his life was in danger.

Sean and Wanda Cann, the brother-in-law and sister of William Chapman say that that "Billy", was a happy person in life and that his crime of burglary, for which he was serving 9 years, didn't mean he deserved to die.

Wanda: "He was a very happy person, he was always joking, playing around, always happy."

On Wednesday, our affiliate First Coast News in Jacksonville reported that an anonymous Florida Department of Corrections employee told them that Billy was killed.

Stabbed and choked in an attack by inmates William Wells, who was convicted of killing 6 people, including 1 other inmate, and Leo Boatman, convicted of killing 3 people, including another inmate.

Billy's sister, Wanda, tells us that he should never have been in the same room as the men who killed him.

Wanda: "He should have never been out of his cell, that prison is responsible. He should have never been out of his cell."

She and her husband say that Billy had expressed concerns about his safety to them in the past, telling them that he did not want to enter the general population of the prison.

Sean: "Yes, he was definitely afraid for his life, they threw him to the wolves"

Wanda: "He was telling us that in 2017, that if he hit the general population, he's dead."

One of Chapman's alleged killers, William Wells was sentenced to life in prison for killing 5 people, including his wife in 2004, as well as killing a fellow inmate in 2011.

In a letter sent to First Coast News in 2011, Wells said that he wanted the death penalty, noting that if prosecutors were quote, "more thorough in convicting me in 2003 of the Mayport murders and pushing fervently for the death penalty, no one else would have had to die."

Wanda: "This guy, really, said he was going to kill again, and he killed again."

The Cann's say that ultimately, they feel like a lack of concern by prison officials for the safety of their inmates led to billy's death

Wanda: "There's something not right going on at that prison, and they need to get to the bottom of it."

According to the FDOC website, "Billy" Chapman was scheduled to be released this year on October 2nd. Both FDOC and FDLE have yet to officially confirm the details shared by the family or who is actually responsible for Chapman's death.