WILKES BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The Luzerne County District Attorney and County Coroner ruled Friday that County Corrections Officer Kristopher Moules’ death Monday evening was a homicide.
The announcement by DA Stefanie Salavantis and Coroner William Lisman comes on the completion of the investigation into the death of Moules and prison Inmate Timothy Darnell Gilliam, Jr July 18th.
The report says that Moules was at the 5A cell block door handing out dinner trays.
Gilliam approached the cell block door after all the trays had been handed out and began a “heated discussion” with Moules and another officer who was in the locked control room above the cell block.
Moules advised Gilliam, says the report, to come out of the cell block to avoid a confrontation in a room with 37 other inmates. The verbal confrontation between the two continued, and then escalated. The officer in the control room ordered Gilliam to be handcuffed, and Moules attempted to do that Gilliam began physically attacking Moules.
An alarm was sounded and the officer in the control room went to Moules aid. The report says just as the other officer began to help, Gilliam pulled Moules backwards towards the elevator. They hit the door, and the base of the door gave way and the two men “disappeared into the shaft with Gilliam still pulling C.O. Moules.
The door gave way at it’s base, rather than the top, and the two men fell 59-feet to the top of the elevator.
Lisman says Gilliam died of multiple traumatic injuries from the fall and was accidental.
He also ruled that Moules death was a homicide because Gilliam “did not intend to cause his own death, his actions set in motion a chain of events which lead to the death of C.O. Kristopher Moules.”
No further investigation will be pursued since Gilliam died in the fall.
Moules’ funeral is scheduled Tuesday, July 26th at the Wyoming ValleyWest High School starting at 11:00 a.m.