And Glen Guadalupe, 39, then Curran-Fromhold's deputy warden and now the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center's warden, was indicted on two counts of obstruction for allegedly trying to persuade one staffer not to provide information to investigators and another not to provide them with photos.
Bob Eskind, a spokesman for the prison, could not be reached for comment late yesterday.
Neither could Guadalupe nor any of his five codefendants.
Tyler's defense attorney, Mark E. Cedrone, called the charges false and predicted that his client would be exonerated.
"There's a whole other side to this story, most of which is left out of this indictment," Cedrone said.
The defendants will make court appearances and enter pleas in the coming weeks.
The indictment alleges that the beating of Hunter, now 20, was in retaliation for his scheduled testimony for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office in a forthcoming trial. Facing trial is a Youth Studies Center counselor who allegedly helped Hunter escape from juvenile custody at the center in the mid-1990s.
By March 11, 1999, Hunter had been convicted and was two years into a 10-year federal sentence for his involvement with a Mantua drug gang. As the counselor's trial approached, city prosecutors had Hunter transferred from the federal prison at Lewisburg, in north-central Pennsylvania, to Curran-Fromhold, so that he would be nearer to the city court system.
On March 11, 1999, the indictment alleges, the officers conducted a "shakedown" of the inmates' cells. They supposedly were searching for illegal drugs or weapons.
When they reached Hunter, however, they allegedly chased him down the hall, to Cell 17. It was there, the indictment states, that he was punched, kicked, and beaten with a pair of handcuffs until he was prone on the floor.
The indictment further alleges that Steptoe continued beating Hunter after he had been handcuffed and again as he walked down the hall and rode an elevator to the medical wing for treatment of his injuries.
In February, Hunter filed a federal civil-rights suit against the defendants, claiming that he was beaten into unconsciousness. The suit, which is pending, says Hunter was eventually taken to Episcopal Hospital, where he was treated for multiple cuts to the head and face that required numerous stitches.
Joseph A. Slobodzian's e-mail address is email@example.com.