Sergeant Barbara Ester Arkansas Department of Correction, Arkansas End of Watch: Friday, January 20, 2012

198451_198191416868832_100000339241838_607427_4611320_nArkansas Department of Correction, Arkansas

Sergeant Barbara Ester

Arkansas Department of Correction, Arkansas
End of Watch: Friday, January 20, 2012

Biographical Info

Age: 47
Tour of Duty: 12 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Stabbed
Date of Incident: January 20, 2012
Weapon Used: Edged weapon; Shank
Suspect Info: In custody

Agency Contact Information

Director Ray Hobbs
Arkansas Department of Correction
PO Box 8707
Pine Bluff, AR 71611
Phone: (870) 267-6999

Sergeant Barbara Ester was stabbed to death by an inmate at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, Arkansas.
She had observed an inmate in possession of contraband pair of sneakers and entered the open barracks to confiscate them. As she approached the inmate he suddenly stabbed her twice in the stomach with a shank.
Sergeant Ester was flown to a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where she succumbed to her wounds.
The inmate, who had was serving a life sentence for murder, was immediately taken into custody and transferred to the maximum security wing of the prison.
Sergeant Ester had served with the Arkansas Department of Correction for 12 years. She is survived by her husband, who also serves as an officer at the same facility.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—A convicted murderer stabbed a female guard to death at an east Arkansas prison Friday while she was investigating whether he had an unauthorized pair of shoes, a prison spokeswoman said.

Sgt. Barbara Ester, 47, was stabbed in the side, abdomen and chest at about 12:30 p.m., said Shea Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Correction. Ester died about 3 p.m. at a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., about 40 miles away.

Ester, a 12-year veteran of the correction department, was a property officer who investigated whether inmates had contraband items. Wilson said the guard had received a report that Johnson had a pair of contraband shoes.

"This is obviously very difficult for the department when something tragic like this happens," Wilson said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Ester’s family. These officers — it’s a tight-knit workplace. They look out for each other and are there together for a lot of hours of the day, so this is very difficult for everyone."

Wilson said the prison was locked down after the attack and that the inmate, Latavious Johnson, was being moved to the state’s maximum-security unit at Varner. She said all the other inmates have been accounted for. Prison officials haven’t said specifically what Johnson used during the attack, only that it was an object that had been sharpened.

Johnson, 30, was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder out of Jefferson County. He was sentenced in 2000 for killing his father. Prosecutors said Johnson was 18 at the time of the crime.

Wilson said Johnson had had several disciplinary infractions, including one this week for not obeying orders, but hadn’t previously attacked a guard.

"We will move him to the supermax (prison) so he will be out of that environment … He needed to be out of that environment," Wilson said.

Arkansas State Police and the prison’s internal affairs staff were investigating the stabbing. Wilson said authorities would turn over their information to prosecutors, who will determine whether to file charges against the inmate.

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3 Responses to “Sergeant Barbara Ester Arkansas Department of Correction, Arkansas End of Watch: Friday, January 20, 2012”


  1. 1 LcReitz January 21, 2012 at 16:54

    This is one of the few times I would ever advocate for the death penalty. To do this to anyone, guard or other inmate while already in jail just leaves 1 alternative to life in prison. How did he get the contraban sneakers…? Her family/husband will be forever ripped by this. Scarey under appreciated job by good people.

  2. 2 bren February 14, 2012 at 18:15

    As a fellow correctional officer my heart goes out to her family .That inmate need to be put to death

  3. 3 Andy November 25, 2012 at 04:10

    I am a Correctional Officer with the state of Arkansas. I attended Barbara Ester’s funeral. As I attended her funeral, I was struck deeply by the utter loss to the entire community and how profoundly everyone’s lives were diminished over a pair of shoes which were not purchased out of the Pen Store. Should the inmate be delivered into the bowels of hell, you bet! This type of man blurs the line between reasonable and heinous beyond all measure. But the real definition of contraband needs to be determined by we who are the front line centurions of the bottom rung of the criminal justice system’s ladder. Weapons of any kind, drugs, tobacco, and green money are the real destructive and corruptible items which are introduced into state prisons and should be found and confiscated. Tennis shoes, tee shirts, and family photos in excess of (5), not so much. May God continue to comfort Barbara’s family and friends.


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