Prison mum on inmate's death

Sandusky man convicted of rape in 2003 died June 4 after an assault at Allen Correctional Facility in Lima
Jun 24, 2014


An Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer contacted Gayle Witherspoon June 4, telling her that her cousin, Larry Bumphus, was assaulted in prison and she should contact the warden at Allen Correctional, a state prison in Lima. 

When she did, the warden, Melvin Jones, told her Bumphus was assaulted about two weeks prior and doctors at a Columbus hospital were "getting ready to pull the plug" on life support systems keeping him alive. 

By the time she reached Columbus that same day, Bumphus was dead. 

"He told me, 'we think we know what happened,' but he never said what that was," Witherspoon said. 

Since then, prison officials haven't told Gayle Witherspoon, of Sandusky, or Patricial Perrault, of Gary, Ind., anything about what happened to Bumphus.

"I had to fight all day to just see his body," said Witherspoon. 

Bumphus had a severe injury to his head, she said, but otherwise Witherspoon, a first cousin of Bumphus on his father's side, and Perrault, a first cousin from his mother's side, haven't been given any further information.

Now all they want to do is bring him home and bury him.

Bumphus was convicted in 2001 of raping a woman, but he always denied he sexually assaulted the victim.

"He always said he was innocent, and I believed him," Witherspoon said. "He was offered a three-year prison sentence but he wouldn't take it, and he was still fighting his conviction."

State prison officials have not responded to a request from the Register seeking more information about Bumphus' death. 

Jones, the warden, did not return a telephone message left for him on Monday, and prison officials have not responded to a public records request sent last week to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction seeking reports on the assault that occurred. 

Initially, prison officials said Bumphus' body would be transported back to Sandusky for burial, but they later said it would cost $600 for the body to be transported. 

The women are attempting to raise $2,100 for the transport and funeral and are seeking donations from people who knew Bumphus. 

Donations can be made to the Toft Funeral Home, 2001 Columbus Ave, Sandusky, to help defray the costs. 


indolent indiff...

Rapist - Dead - Next!


I love a story with a happy ending


This guy was arrested 79 times. He was a repeat violent offender, domestic violence, violating a TPO, burglary, intox, and sexual imposition to name a few.

My check is in the mail, ladies.


I remember his case. He got a retrial and there were a lot of questions about the fairness of the proceedings which led some critical thinking people to suggest he was railroaded and put away for a long time to protect the system.


This is going to sound like a stupid question but what is the difference between rape and sexual assault? The act of rape in of itself is an assault of sorts so I don't see why they wouldn't be the same thing. What I really don't understand is why his family is so quick to believe his innocence if he admitted (apparently) to the one but not the other. I know I would stand up and back my family if I believed they were being wrongly accused of something but again he (apparently) admitted to the crime of rape and if this were my family I would also be there for support but in a way of telling them not that I would continue to fight for justice till they got a better verdict, one that didn't include having to pay for crimes they had admitted to, but in that said they were still family and I was proud that they admitted to the crime they committed and were willing to now serve the time for that crime. Honestly, if his crime was against a child - which I don't really remember to much about it or him - he would have probably been beaten by other inmates and the guards looked the other way.


Assault is any sexual act that is non voluntary and rape is sexual intercorse that is forced. Fine line but I'm sure you can use your imagination and figure out the difference.


I think some of you are missing the point. I cannot nor will I defend his alleged crimes but his family does have the right to know what happened to him. Wouldn't you want to know if it was your relative?


Karma that's what happened to him!! Good riddance

sandtown born a...

They do deserve to know the truth no matter what he has done or been accused of doing.


Prison justice at its finest. Keep up the good work Boyz lol

he said she said

Ok he's a criminal. That doesn't excuse the fact that the family was called after the fact and was not able to say goodbye to him.

I don't know the family and I understand everyone's feelings: rapist = dead, good job state of Ohio. BUT what if this was your relative. Would you want people that don't know him personally making negative remarks about him?

I seriously have doubts to what the state is saying happened and to protect themselves decided to pull the plug before family could get there for fear he might say something.

indolent indiff...

better for the family to be rid of this mess. Now they don't have to worry about visits and sending $40 for his account. Better for the victims too. Now she can think of the beating he got instead of the suffering she had. I bet she is smiling today


I wish my granddaughter could look forward to her rapist going to prison. oh that's right baxter didn't take it to the grand jury along with the child porn case that didn't go either.


Probably because unlike the Bumphus case, your granddaughter's alleged rapist has political connections.