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Former guard testifies in prison bus trial

A retired Maryland correctional officer says nothing seemed amiss on a prison bus where an inmate was murdered in 2005.

Larry Cooper took the stand Thursday at the wrongful death trial in Baltimore.

He says movement among the 36 inmates prompted officers to turn the lights on twice during the nighttime trip from Hagerstown — but they saw nothing wrong.

Philip Parker Jr. was found unconscious when the bus arrived in Baltimore.

His parents allege the five officers aboard the bus were negligent in failing to prevent Parker’s strangulation by another Supermax inmate.

The state contends the officers weren’t negligent because they didn’t know Parker was in danger.

Kevin Johns was convicted of murder in 2008 but found not criminally responsible due to mental illness. He killed himself in prison.

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