Judge permits convicted Youngstown murderer to wear dreadlocks i - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Judge permits convicted Youngstown murderer to wear dreadlocks in prison

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Deon Glenn Deon Glenn
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A federal judge says that a Youngstown man convicted of murdering 17-year-old girl has a right to wear his hair in dreadlocks while serving a life sentence in a state prison in Trumbull County.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan on Monday ruled in favor of Trumbull County Correctional Institution inmate 29-year-old Deon Glenn who filed a complaint saying that the prison's grooming policies violated his right to practice his religion.

Glenn said he is a practicing Rastafarian which he argued believe in a Biblical commandment from Leviticus: "They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh."

In his complaint, Glenn said that he and other TCI inmates that have resisted cutting their dreadlocks have been subjected to ticketing and administrative segregation.

Although Judge Gaughan ruled that TCI's grooming policy violates the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act in Glenn's case, she specifically said her order takes no position on whether the dreadlock ban is enforceable with respect to other inmates.

Prison officials argued that TCI permitted Rastafarian inmates to grow their hair to any length so long as it doesn't interfere with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's security interests.

In 2009, Glenn was sentenced to spend from 35 years to life in prison for the May 2007 shooting death of 17-year-old Maressia Paterson and the wounding of two other teens on Ford Avenue in Youngstown.

Investigators say Patterson was shot in the back during a drive-by shooting as she walked home from a party.

Glenn was found guilty of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

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