Hostage situation resolved swiftly at Middleton prison; inmate faces charges

A hostage situation was resolved swiftly and without incident this morning at the Essex County House of Correction in Middleton, the sheriff’s office said.

William Goddard, 42, of Worcester, an inmate who has been awaiting trial in the facility since June, took a computer teacher hostage. The standoff, which began at 8:10 a.m. lasted 15 to 20 minutes, said Barbara Maher, chief of staff for Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr.

She said Goddard appeared to be having a “mental health situation … He wasn’t thinking clearly.’’

She said Goddard would face charges and be arraigned Wednesday.

She said negotiators quickly responded to the situation and the staff did “a tremendous job’’ in bringing about a “peaceful resolution’’ of the case.



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