I-Team: ‘He didn’t deserve this:’ Warnings missed before inmate’s stabbing death

I-Team

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — There were multiple warning signs before an alleged murder at High Desert State Prison.

A caseworker testified the alleged killer warned what would happen in his own words. He also had been caught with a weapon in prison repeatedly, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

What we don’t know is why Isaiah Sharp was placed in a cell with him.

“He was really good on just doing what he needed to do to get out and come home and meet, and meet his niece, my daughter,” said Isaiah’s sister, Tori Sharp.

She says her brother drew a picture of her daughter and sent it from prison. She now holds onto these photos and videos for memories.

The 21-year-old was killed on March 14 at High Desert State Prison — less than three weeks before he was supposed to be released on parole.

She believes the prison and the workers share the blame.

The I-Team obtained a photo of Andrew Hilford restrained after prison workers say they found Sharp stabbed to death. Photos show the cell they shared then a crime scene.

The I-Team also dug through court documents.

We’ve learned a prison case specialist testified that nearly two months before the alleged murder, Hilford made threats of hurting somebody if he didn’t get the cellmate he wanted, saying, “Put in someone and we’ll see.”

Another worker testified Sharp was placed in the cell the next month.

He was serving time for an armed robbery when he was 18 years old.

Hilford is serving a life sentence with eligibility for parole after 20 years. He was convicted of first-degree murder and robbery in 2008.

“There was no reason to go after my brother,” Tori Sharp said. “He died two days before his birthday.”

The Clark County Coroner’s Office reports that Sharp was stabbed 96 times with a shank made of plastic from a television. And this isn’t the first time Hilford was caught with a shank.

According to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, in 2012, he was charged for possession of a shank inside a prison. In 2017, he was charged with four counts of attempted murder, again — with possession of a shank. That case is pending. And in 2019, the office received another referral for his alleged attempt to attack a correctional officer.

“I don’t know why they would place my brother with someone like that,” Tori Sharp said.

The I-Team reached out to the Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC) to find out why.

A spokeswoman said details pertaining to a particular inmate are confidential. As the I-Team has reported, High Desert State Prison has a history of problems.

During a recent interview with Gov. Steve Sisolak, the I-Team asked about the DOC and its troubles.

“There’s more work to do. They’ve made great progress. There’s no doubt they’ve made great progress,” Sisolak said. “It’s a difficult situation, Department of Corrections. The incarcerated sometimes don’t tend to follow the rules because that’s why they’re in the Department of Corrections.”

Tori Sharp said the DOC has not been forthcoming with information.

She also didn’t know Hilford was indicted for her brother’s alleged murder until we told her.

“I want everybody to know that my brother was amazing and that he didn’t deserve this,” she said.

Tori Sharp said her parents struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. Her brother had to grow up quickly and got mixed up in trouble. He wanted to join the Air Force.

At the time of his alleged murder, the coroner testified Sharp had methamphetamine in his system.

But being that he was stabbed 96 times, the meth is not connected to his death.

The question now: how did meth get into that prison?

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