Stanford Beating Pictures Published As Trial Nears

Nov 9 2010 | 10:08am ET

A British tabloid has published pictures of accused hedge fund fraudster R. Allen Stanford following his beating in prison last year.

In the photos, the alleged mastermind of a $7 billion Ponzi scheme sits shackled on a gurney in a neckbrace, as nurses and guards at the private prison in South Texas attend to his wounds. Stanford suffered fractures to his eye socket and cheek bones in the attack, and has lost all feeling in the right side of his face, the Daily Mail, which published the pictures, reports.

Following the attack and an operation at a prison hospital, Stanford was transferred to a new prison in Houston, where he is awaiting trial, set to begin in January.

Stanford had frequently complained about the Joe Corley Detention Center, which he said was overcrowded, had no air conditioning and suffered from electrical problems. On the night of his beating, there were reportedly 14 inmates stuck in a cell designed to house eight.

According to the Sunday Times, Stanford told a friend that he "was on the telephone and some of the other people in the cell didn't like it."

"They said something to me and then two of them jumped me and kept punching me and kicking me in the head," the 60-year-old told his friend. "I lost consciousness, but at one time I came round and grabbed one of them by the leg. That just set them off again."

No one has been charged or disciplined for the beating.

In the interim, Stanford has changed his lawyers for the upcoming criminal trial for the fifth time. Due to his indigency, he parted ways with noted trial attorney Robert Bennett and has been appointed two public defenders.

The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston, rejected three lawyers proposed by Stanford, noting that "indigent defendants do not have the right to select their own attorneys."

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