State of Missouri v. Frank Joseph Guinan

665 SW 2d 325

Frank Joseph Guinan was executed on October 6, 1993

Case Facts:  Because January 25, 1981, fell on a Sunday, Sergeant Matthias was the only correctional officer on duty in Unit 4 of the Missouri State Penitentiary. He was located in a booth on the ground floor from which he could observe all cells. About 10:30am, the officer began to notice what he considered unusual and suspicious behavior on the part of several inmates. Inmates Sherrill, Cleveland and Hewitt had left the places where they normally “hung out” and had taken up positions where they could watch the officer. Guinan and Zeitvogal made several trips to upper tiers and beginning at 10:55am, Cleveland made requests of the officer that he ring the buzzer for “mainline”—a term for the time when most inmates went to their noon meal. The request for “mainline” was considered suspicious by the officer because inmates were free to go to lunch before ‘mainline” sounded.

A few minutes after 11:00am, when the officer saw defendant and Zeitvogal go back upstairs another time and Cleveland made another request for “mainline”, Sergeant Matthias called his shift captain, Captain Borghardt, and told him something was wrong and he had the feeling he was going to need some help. Shortly after the sergeant made the telephone call but before assistance arrived he saw Guinan and Zeitvogal emerge from cell 36. Both men were covered with blood and each carrying a knife made from scissor halves.

During the flight and capture of Guinan and Zeitvogal, Sergeant Matthias saw inmate and victim McBroom come out of cell 36 covered with blood and bleeding profusely. He collapsed outside the cell and was taken to the prison hospital where he died as a result of massive blood loss. He suffered at least sixteen separate stab wounds, including three around the left eye which had penetrated into the brain, and others in the chest and back which had severed major blood vessels in the liver and right lung.