http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/crime/florida-inmates-smuggle-gun-into-prison-to-shoot-themselves/article/387406

Florida inmates smuggle gun into prison to shoot themselves

Posted Jun 22, 2014 by Scott Tuttle
To paraphrase the poet Robert Burns, "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." Two Florida inmates can testify to that as an elaborate scheme to get their sentences reduced by shooting each other was a bust.
Two Florida inmates smuggle gun into prison.
Two Florida inmates smuggle gun into prison.
Video screen shot
Inmates Deshandre Billups, 26, and Kirk Cartwright, 33, already had a reputation in Lake City, Florida's Columbia Corrections Institution as very gifted smugglers, having often smuggled drugs and cell phones into the prison.
Putting their talents to fruitful use, they reportedly managed to smuggle a .25-caliber Beretta into the facility with help from their relatives.
The weapon, however, was not used for an escape attempt or to hold a guard as hostage, as one might initially think. Instead, the gun was used for a much more elaborate, and indeed more humorous scheme; to shoot each other and then sue the prison.
After having smuggled the gun into the prison and shooting each other with it, they told officials that an unknown assailant walked by their prison cell and shot them as they were praying.
Upon thorough investigation, officials discovered that the gun was smuggled into the facility by mail with the help of four friends and relatives on the outside and another inmate, Tony Underwood.
Billups and Cartwright allegedly were planning to sue the prison and then propose a reduced sentence as a settlement.
Police arrested Billups' mother, Joanne Billups, 46, and Cartwright’s girlfriend, Katherine Landrum, 28, Tuesday on charges of taking part in the operation.
Cartwright's sister, Monique Thompson, 35, and Underwood's girlfriend, Ekecia Anderson, 21 were also believed to be involved. Police issued arrest warrants for the two of them, but they have yet to be apprehended.
Cartwright is currently serving a life sentence for murder, and Billups is serving 20 years for armed robbery. Underwood, is serving a smaller sentence of six years for burglary and grand theft.
They now face five additional felony charges, including possession of a firearm and multiple counts of contraband possession, both for the gun and for cellphones that were discovered during the investigation.