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Inmate charged with attempted murder of MCI-Shirley corrections officer

An inmate has been charged after he allegedly attempted to kill a corrections officer with a metal pole at a Shirley prison in late August, officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

A preliminary investigation found that shortly after 2 p.m. on Aug. 31, Roy Booth, a 40-year-old inmate at Massachusetts Corrections Institution-Shirley, was in the prison’s recreation facility when he allegedly used a metal pole to attack Officer Matthew Tidman, according to a statement from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Tidman was struck with the pole — which weighed between 10 and 15 pounds — multiples times, the statement said. He had been monitoring other inmates in the medium-security area at the time.


Other corrections officers restrained Booth after the alleged attack, officials said. Tidman was brought via helicopter to Lahey Hospital in Burlington, where he had been in intensive care since his arrival.

“This incident highlights the dangers corrections officers face every day while performing their duties,” Ryan said in the statement. “Officer Tidman still has a very long road ahead of him and we know that this frightening incident of workplace violence will have a lasting impact on his family and colleagues.”

Booth, who is currently serving a life sentence for a murder in Virginia, was transferred to protective custody at the nearby Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, the statement said.

Through video evidence and interviews, investigators found that Booth allegedly unscrewed the pole from weight lifting equipment and concealed it before attacking Tidman, the statement said.

Booth is facing charges of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, and mayhem, the district attorney’s office said. He was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury and will be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in October.