Man who held hostage at Gateway Center sentenced for attacking inmate


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The man already serving six to 15 years for holding another man hostage in Downtown Pittsburgh in 2012 was sentenced this morning to an additional one to two years for attacking an inmate at the Allegheny County Jail.

Klein Michael Thaxton, 23, reached a plea agreement with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office on charges of assault by prisoner and possessing a weapon for escape.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 26, 2013, Thaxton attacked another inmate in the protective custody unit in Pod 6F.

He struck the man several times, pulling him down to the floor “while he continued to pummel him with a closed fist.”

Then, the complaint continues, Thaxton attempted to choke him and drag him back to his cell “with the intention to hold [the man] in his cell by securing his cell door with a rope that he made from torn sheet material.”

Three inmates on the pod attempted to break it up, and when corrections officers stepped in, they found an 8-inch shank on the floor. It had a plastic fork on one end and was attached to a sharp piece of clear plastic on the other.

Thaxton already is serving at least six years in prison after pleading guilty in August to kidnapping, aggravated assault and terroristic threats.

Those charges stemmed from an incident on Sept. 21, 2012, where Thaxton entered 3 Gateway Center and held a businessman hostage for nearly six hours, repeatedly threatening him with a knife.

The situation ended after police negotiators played messages for Thaxton from his mother, sister and ex-girlfriend.


Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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