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3 Teens Among Suspects In Prison Riot Probe Finds That Disturbance Probably Was Spontaneous

Sun., Aug. 3, 1997

Three teenagers are among the eight inmates suspected of causing $20,000 in damages during a rampage at the Idaho Correctional Institution-Orofino.

The state Department Correction released the names of the inmates Friday as the prison returned to normal.

So far, an investigation indicates Thursday’s disturbance was spontaneous rather than planned, Deputy Warden Dean Allen said.

Eight inmates were identified by guards as being responsible for allegedly starting fires, vandalizing appliances and breaking windows during an incident that lasted less than one hour.

The inmates were housed in a close-custody, maximum-security unit, but after the disturbance they were transferred to the Idaho Maximum Security Institution south of Boise. They were identified as:

Benjamin Martin Hatton, 17, convicted of robbery in Ada County.

John Raymond Berber, 16, convicted of grand theft by possession of stolen property and discharging a firearm at an inhabited dwelling in Ada County.

Joseph Charlie Diaz, 17, convicted of battery with intent to commit murder in Bingham County.

Alfredo Rodriquez, 21, convicted of aggravated assault, two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery in Canyon County.

Aaron Joel Baker, 27, convicted of first-degree arson and burglary in Bonneville County.

Leroy Ibarra, 21, convicted of statutory rape in Canyon County.

Hector Avila, 21, convicted of robbery in Canyon County.

Ospaldo Wallace, 20, convicted of forgery in Bannock County.

Meanwhile, prison officials continued investigating the disturbance.

“We anticipate this case will be prosecuted,” Allen said. “We’ll await the outcome of the investigation.”

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