Karl Stolze is the second inmate this week to change his plea to guilty in federal court. He admitted abusing inmates while he worked as a booking officer at the Harrison County Jail.
Attorney Arthur Carlisle led Stolze's entourage into federal court. Surrounding himself with family and friends, Stolze wanted no part of the waiting cameras.
Once inside, he admitted assaulting several inmates, watching while others were abused, then conspiring to cover up the crimes.
District Attorney Cono Caranna is a special prosecutor in the federal case.
"This process has now developed eight people who are going to be witnesses instead of defendants. Two left to try. I think it shows that the prosecution is going forward and is pointed in the right direction," he said.
Michael Crosby has kept a close watch on the criminal case. He represents the family of Jessie Lee Williams Jr., the man who died after he was beaten at the jail.
Ryan Teel is the former jailer charged in connection with that death. Teel and former jail supervisor Rick Gaston are the two remaining defendants who go to trial Monday.
"Well, it lets the two remaining defendants know what they're looking at. They know that they have some very serious testimony that's going to be put into the case and they're going to have to deal with, contend with that. So, it's pretty serious," said Crosby, commenting on the latest plea.
Karl Stolze told the judge he's being treated for depression and anxiety brought on by the ordeal.
The defendant had little to say to reporters after the hearing.
"Uh, yeah. Get out of my way," said the obviously annoyed Stolze, as photographers trailed him down the sidewalk outside federal court.
The defendant was soft spoken in entering his guilty plea before Judge Guirola. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. As part of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a lighter sentence. But the judge is not bound by that recommendation.
Caranna did not dismiss the possibility of yet another plea before the case goes to trial.
"Well, you know everything gets announced as it's ready. And the facts will come out in the trial, not on the sidewalk," he said outside the federal courthouse.
Stolze is the second former jailer to plead guilty this week. Just two days ago, Daniel Evans also agreed to plead guilty for his role in abusing inmates.