Prison counselor, corrections officer testify during second day of Madden trial

MUNISING — Day two of DeShawn Madden’s trial was underway on Tuesday in Alger County Circuit Court.

Madden was originally charged back in July of 2017 with first degree murder in the death of his cellmate Rodriguez Montez Burks. The two were cellmates while they were lodged at Alger Correctional Facility. Madden was serving time for three crimes out of Wayne County, including armed robbery.

Both the prosecution and defense called witnesses in court Tuesday.

Karen Prunick, a counselor at the Alger Correctional Facility, received an “urgent” letter from Madden on July 17th, just days before Burks was found dead. However, she did not read the letter until after the incident.

“‘I’ve been placed in the cell with a homo,’ in parenthesis, ‘and that’s not something I am into. I really need to get moved, I talk with the staff as soon as I seen his face. This is degrading and uncomfortable, I need to move today. Before we get into it, feel it coming please and thank you,'” said Prunick.

Several more members of the jail staff testified. Corrections officer Donald Peer is one of the officers who found Burks body.

Upon entering the cell, Peer attempted to address him.

“I yelled Burks’ name, there was no response. So, I went over to where he was laying on the bottom bunk. He was completely wrapped in blankets and sheets. I went over there and shook him and there was no response. I started pulling the blankets off and he was wrapped real tight. I was still holding checking for a pulse and I told Eiseman, I said ‘he’s dead,'” testified Peer.

Stay with ABC 10 as we follow the proceedings the rest of the week.