Jail Time for Wall Operator


Marcus Floyd, the Missouri man charged with involuntary manslaughter after his portable climbing wall failed and a woman was killed, pled guilty to a lesser charge and will serve a short jail sentence. A 22-year-old woman died in July 2003 when the steel cable attached to her harness snapped as she was lowering from Floyd’s wall and she fell 20 feet to the pavement below. Investigators found rusty spots on the cable that had been covered up with duct tape. A criminal trial earlier this year ended when the jury deadlocked. Floyd agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a civil suit brought by the woman’s parents, and a new trial was ordered. But in a hearing this week Floyd admitted he had recklessly created the conditions that led to the woman’s death and pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault. Floyd was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation; he also has to get rid of his portable wall and agree to never own or operate one in the future.