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Prisoner sentenced for assaulting correctional officer

By Hope Miller 7:59 PM April 3, 2014

A man with an already nearly 200-year sentence was handed down additional time Wednesday for assaulting a correctional officer in 2012.

While imprisoned at the Anchorage Correctional Complex, James Coven, 27, assaulted a correctional officer in September 2012, causing multiple fractures to the officer’s jaw, said Deputy District Attorney Clint Campion. Coven’s attack also left the officer with a fractured nose, broken teeth and a concussion.

Coven turned on the correctional officer after he didn’t allow Coven to make a phone call and ordered him to go back to his cell, prosecutors said. Instead of returning to the cell, Coven “punched the officer in the head, causing the officer to fall to the ground,” said a statement from the state Department of Law. “Coven then repeatedly kicked the officer until other officers arrived.”

The officer was taken to a local hospital for treatment of the injuries.

Coven had already been convicted of a double homicide in 2012 and was serving a 199-year sentence. An Anchorage Superior Court Judge sentenced Coven to 19 years in prison Wednesday. The Court said the sentence was necessary to “deter other prisoners from assaulting correctional officers,” the Department of Law said.

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