Governor calls for moment of silence on anniversary of prison guard’s death

February 26, 2019

Gov. Tom Wolf is asking Pennsylvania residents to honor Sgt. Mark Baserman’s memory by observing a moment of silence on Tuesday.

Baserman, 60, of Johnstown, died on Feb. 26, 2018, 11 days after allegedly being assaulted by an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset. “Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the death of State Correctional Institution at Somerset Sergeant Mark Baserman. He died of injuries suffered from an assault by an inmate. One assault on an officer is one too many,” Wolf said in a press release. “While there are not enough words to honor his life, his sacrifice, and his service to his fellow citizens, I am asking all Pennsylvanians to honor his memory by observing a one-minute moment of silence at 12:47 p.m. Tuesday in memory of Sgt. Baserman and his ultimate sacrifice.

“Corrections officers, like first responders and our soldiers, serve quietly and behind the scenes. The act of willingly going to work every day to protect the safety of others is an act of heroism. These men and women in uniform are joined today by hundreds more, everyday citizens, who appreciate the unwavering service of public servants such as Sgt. Baserman.” Employees at SCI-Somerset have created a Baserman Memorial Scholarship fund with $25,000 raised so far toward endowing a $50,000 scholarship for a student to attend the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Paul Kendrick, 23, of Pittsburgh, is awaiting trial on homicide and related charges in connection with Baserman’s death. He is being held at SCI-Huntingdon in Huntingdon County.