Convicted Murderer Suing Dept Of Corrections Because They Took Away His PlayStation

Convicted murderer John Hereford is suing Wyomings prisons system saying the confiscation of his PlayStation console following the discovery of mature-rated games is a punishment that does not fit the crime.

Clair McFarland

January 13, 20233 min read

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A man serving between 50 years and life in the Wyoming prisons system for murdering a man and confining and sexually assaulting a woman is suing the director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections and certain staffers for taking away his PlayStation and not giving it back.   

John Hereford, 34, is an inmate at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins, according to a legal complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for Wyoming. 

Started With A Shakedown 

Hereford alleges that he was subject to an “all facilities shakedown” search the evening of June 15, 2021.

A detention staffer told Hereford that Hereford’s name was on a list of inmates whose PlayStation video game consoles were being searched, according to the lawsuit. 

Hereford wrote that he complied, giving over the PlayStation and put a video game he said was Dragon Ball Z on his bunk in the process.   

The staffer asked what the game was; Hereford told him, he wrote.   

The staffer asked, “Where he got the video game because it was mature rated,” Hereford’s complaint continues. Another staffer asked about the game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.   

Then they asked Hereford where he got that one, the complaint says. 

‘Don’t Do Me Like This’ 

Hereford jokingly responded, “Come on … don’t do me like this, you already got my money,” according to his complaint.   

“Your (sic) not going to turn this around on me,” the staffer replied, according to Hereford’s complaint.   

Hereford two days later was placed in “the hole,” or segregation. He says he was isolated without a hearing.   

When he got out, Hereford claims he spent two days without fresh clothing – and he never got his PlayStation back. 

More Penalties 

Staffers said it was being searched for contraband and had shown an error code when inspected.   

Hereford received a conduct violation report due to the error code, his lawsuit says.   

Hereford disputed the finding at a hearing, claiming he didn’t plug the PlayStation into anything forbidden.   

He was reportedly penalized with 21 days of canteen restriction.   

He also had to give up the PlayStation altogether, Hereford claims.   

“Never in the 10 years the plaintiff has been in (the penitentiary) or (Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution) has there been a forfeiture of ones (sic) console for playing a mature rated game, and as showen (sic)  here in the inmate handbook sanctions for a general offense,” says Hereford in his complaint. 

It’s ‘Personal’ 

He lamented that he likely could not get another PlayStation in the remaining decades of his sentence. Hereford was sentenced Nov. 13, 2013, in Fremont County District Court.   

Hereford said while he was in lockdown, he heard inmates coming from the Torrington facility saying other inmates had gotten their PlayStations back in 60 days or less.   

“Everyone who had there (sic) Play Stations confiscated have received them back,” Hereford said in his complaint, adding that he thinks there are “personal reasons” he doesn’t get to have his PlayStation.   

Hereford alleges that he “is forced to suffer for a punishment that … does not fit the crime and is being denied property that was legally uptained (sic) and was confiscated.”   

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter