Craig Price loses ‘good time’ in wake of Target 12 probe

Craig Price

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Officials at the R.I. Department of Corrections have added 40 days to notorious murderer Craig Price’s sentence after a Target 12 investigation revealed he was never docked good time for stabbing a guard in 2009.

The prison review of Price’s records was launched after Target 12 unearthed court documents that found Florida prison officials recommended he lose a year’s worth of so-called “good time” for the 2009 incident. Price was moved to Florida in 2004 for his own safety as well as the safety of other inmates, according to the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

Prison records show Price stabbed a correctional officer in the hand with a homemade weapon during an altercation with another inmate in 2009. Price was charged with four counts related to the assault, found guilty and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. He’ll have to serve when his Rhode Island sentence expires.

Rebecca Spencer's brother, Carl Battey, calls Price's shrinking sentence "ridiculous." Watch interview »
Rebecca Spencer’s brother, Carl Battey, calls Price’s shrinking sentence “ridiculous.” Watch interview »

Florida officials also placed Price in solitary confinement for 60 days and called for a reduction of his good time earnings by 365 days. But since Price is technically a Rhode Island inmate, only officials at the R.I. Department of Corrections can alter his sentence.

Records indicate that never happened.

In April, RIDOC Director A.T. Wall said they never took the action because Florida officials didn’t recommend it. But a Target 12 review of court documents revealed the good time reduction recommendation by prison officials in the Sunshine State. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections disagreed with Wall stating they followed all normal procedures.

Susan Lamkins, a spokesperson for RIDOC said after reviewing the records from the incident they have authorized the reduction in Price’s good time earnings. She said by law they can only reduce his good time by the amount of time he received as punishment for the incident.

“Price received 90 days of segregation in Florida for his misconduct in 2009; however, at the time of the misconduct he had only earned 30 days of good behavior time on that sentence,” Lamkins wrote in an email. “The good behavior statute only allows for the removal of good behavior time already earned.”

Lamkins said they added on another 10 days – bringing the total reduction to 40 – because “the law requires that an offender not earn good time in any month in which misconduct occurred.”

Timeline: The criminal history of one of Rhode Island's most notorious killers »
Timeline: Criminal history of one of Rhode Island’s most notorious killers »

A Target 12 investigation in May found Price has earned more than 1,500 days of “good time” while incarcerated – meaning he will be released more than four years early from prison – despite numerous infractions while behind bars, according to a Target 12 investigation.

Price is not serving time for the murder he committed, but rather a patchwork of misdeeds he committed while behind bars.

Lamkins said Price had just begun to serve a seven year sentence for criminal contempt and had only accrued 30 days for that sentence when the 2009 stabbing occurred.

Records from RIDOC show Price accrued 43 infractions while he was incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institution in Cranston, seven of those were either dismissed or lessened to a warning.

Records indicate he has had five infractions while in Florida.

Price was 15 years old when he admitted to stabbing to death 39 year-old Joan Heaton and her two daughters; 10 year-old Jennifer and 8 year-old Melissa. He also confessed to the murder of 27 year-old Rebecca Spencer two years earlier.

Tim White ( twhite@wpri.com ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter: @TimWhiteRI

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