Inmate Updates Facebook From Prison Cell

11:41 PM, Dec 11, 2012   |    comments
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McCormick, SC (WLTX) -- A man serving a 22-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter has been updating his Facebook account from inside prison walls. 

The victim's mother is upset that her son's convicted killer is in prison with an active Facebook account.    

"How is my son in the grave and he's in a prison cell looking like he's having the time of his life," said the victim's mother.

Duffy McDowell was convicted of shooting and killing a 20-year-old man two years ago. We're not identifying the victim because that would identify the mother, who's too afraid to put her name out there.

"Shot two shots and one of them went straight through his heart," the mother said.

His mother thought she had seen the last of him until she got a message on Facebook.

"You don't hope to turn on the computer and be able to pull someone who's supposed to be punished look like he's on an outing," she said.

McDowell was operating an active Facebook page in McCormick Correctional Institution with a smuggled cell phone.

"It wasn't acceptable to sit there watching him pose thug in his pictures like he's still living life to the fullest," she said. "My son had no choice, didn't even have a chance."

We talked with Clark Newsom of the South Carolina Department of Corrections about how an inmate can reach beyond the walls.

"Having someone on the outside working with them trying to get something in," Newsom said. "It's a constant battle that all correctional facilities have."

The outside accomplices will throw the phone over the fence or even tape it to the tire wells of work vehicles. And while they can't have eyes everywhere they perform routine shake downs.

"They will usually do a search of their cells, try to find a cell phone and in this case the cell phone was found and taken. The individual is then put on lock down," Newsom said.

The victim's mother says she's upset that her son's killer is on Facebook, but even more upset at the fact her son's only active Facebook is a memorial page.

"Every day is a struggle. He was my youngest son, my baby boy," she said. "He didn't even get to see his 21st birthday."

News 19 is told McCormick Correctional Institution did confiscate the phone. And the state's department of corrections is talking with Facebook officials to shut down the page.

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