A Brooklyn death row inmate and gang member who murdered two New York police detectives “execution style” fathered his corrections officer’s child.
Ronell Wilson, who was convicted in 2006 of murdering two New York City police detectives, “engaged in a months-long sexual relationship with a correctional officer named Nancy Gonzalez that resulted in the birth of their child,” Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in a podcast.
The podcast was made public Wednesday in connection with an IG report on the situation.
Wilson was held in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center Special Programs Unit – a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility that houses inmates with mental health issues – while awaiting sentencing between 2011 and 2012.
He was previously sentenced to death, but was held at the detention center while that was appealed.
“Wilson was placed there so that prison officials could monitor him more closely,” though he didn’t have mental health issues, Horowitz said. “Wilson’s stay in this unit did not go well.”
“Then, after other inmates complained to management about his relationship with Gonzalez, Wilson allegedly held what was described as an ‘inquisition’ to determine who reported him,” Horowitz said. “He also allegedly bullied inmates and manipulated his staff in other ways.”
“We receive a fair number of allegations regarding this type of investigation, but this one stood out because of Wilson’s criminal past,” said IG Special Agent Omar Daza. “Wilson is a former high-ranking gang member … The U.S. Attorney’s Office that prosecuted his case described the murders as ‘execution style.’”
Investigators saw Gonzalez and Wilson meet in vacant rooms.
“But the big break actually occurred when the OIG reviewed two recorded phone calls between Gonzalez and an inmate in another prison who had a previous personal relationship with Gonzalez,” Daza said. “During these calls, Gonzalez admitted to carrying an inmate’s child. She also offered descriptions and details that strongly pointed to Wilson as the father.”
Court-ordered DNA testing subsequently confirmed Wilson as the father.
Gonzalez was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for having sexual intercourse with an inmate under her supervision. Wilson is now back on death row.
Horowitz said the Brooklyn detention center should have deployed special safeguards for putting a violent criminal like Wilson in a unit with vulnerable inmates with mental health issues.
“We found that the SPU procedures did not provide any instructions for staff on how to manage inmates like Wilson,” said Senior Inspector Jason Weiner.
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