The Portsmouth correction officer who was reportedly stabbed by two inmates Tuesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville is recovering in a Huntington, W.Va., hospital as the investigation into the assault enters its third day.
Correction Officer Matthew Mathias was in the neuro/trauma intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Medical Center following surgery, and is listed in stable condition, according to Sally Meckling, spokeswoman for the union that represents prison workers.
Mathias was airlifted to the hospital following the inmate-on-staff assault at the maximum-security prison, which remained on lockdown Wednesday.
Meckling says Mathias was stabbed “multiple, multiple times,” but details of the attack are still sketchy. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation, but has released only minimal details.
Meckling confirmed that two inmates — Casey Pigge and Greg Reinke — were involved in the stabbing, which resulted in more than 30 wounds. Original reports indicated as many as 43 stab wounds, but Mathias’ wife, in an update on her husband’s condition on her Facebook page, said the official count was 32.
Mathias’ wife’s posting to social media reported that “Matt’s resting now after his long surgery and he’s being closely monitored. He has a collapsed lung, and his other one appeared to have a small laceration. They have chest tubes for these reasons, and he’s getting some help breathing right now so he can rest. They repaired some lacerations in his colon. His hands are cut up also from the tremendous fight he put up being attacked by two inmates.”
Pigge is a three-time convicted murderer, and Reinke is also serving a life sentence for aggravated murder.
According to a report from a Chillicothe newspaper, Pigge was moved Wednesday to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction declined to comment on the transfer.
Pigge, who was convicted in the 2008 murder of Rhonda Sommers of Chillicothe, has a history of violence in February. According to the Chillicothe newspaper, he killed fellow inmates the previous two Februaries.
On Feb. 23, 2016, he killed his cellmate by beating him repeatedly in the head with a cinder block. Then on Feb. 1, 2017, after pleading guilty to the 2016 murder, killed a fellow inmate while being transported on a bus enroute to the Lucasville prison.
In a May 1, 2017 letter to a fellow inmate, Pigge wrote about the irony of killing the two inmates in February, and claimed he would “get me another one.”
According to the Chillicothe Gazette, Reinke is serving a life sentence in connection with a 2004 guilty plea to nine charges, including one count each of aggravated murder and attempted murder, in connection with the Feb. 8, 2004 shooting death of a man in Cuyahoga County.
Mathias’ mother, also posting on Facebook, claimed at Tuesday’s attack “was a random incident they planned to kill an officer, and my son was just there doing his job trying to help them.”