There have been multiple inmate-on-inmate assaults in the Muscogee County Jail in the last two weeks that have left four men injured, including one who lost an eye after being stabbed, Sheriff Donna Tompkins confirmed to News 3 Monday afternoon.
“There have been a series of assaults in the jail and we believe that most of those are gang related,” Tompkins said. “… Some of the victims have been willing to come forward and pick out those who have assaulted them and we have made cases against those. Others have not been willing to help us in any kind of investigation.”
There are currently 1,120 inmates in the jail, with 63 of them facing murder charges. At least two-thirds of the inmates are confirmed gang members, Tompkins said.
The following incidents occurred:
— Brenton Davis had a tooth broken before his Nov. 30 Recorder’s Court hearing. He was moved to another area of the jail and was later involved in another altercation in which he suffered a broken jaw. Davis declined to cooperate with jail staff to identify the assailant, Tompkins said. No charges have been filed due to the lack of cooperation.
Davis turned himself into Columbus Police on Nov. 27 on murder charges, in connection with the death of Tommy Jones.
— Jonathan Roberts, 24, was stabbed on Dec. 8 in the left eye. He lost the eye as a result of the assault, Tompkins said. He was stabbed with a “shiny object,” the sheriff said. The weapon has not been found and Roberts has refused to cooperate with jail staff.
“The word is out not to cooperate,” Tompkins said.
Roberts has been in the jail for more than two years awaiting trial on home invasion, aggravated assault and numerous firearms charges.
— On Dec. 13, Chas Watson was also stabbed in the left eye. He was attacked by four inmates and stabbed with a makeshift knife made out of a piece of shower tile.
Lydell Sparks, Itavius Jones, Devonte Morris and Demarco Pierce have been charged with aggravated battery in the attack.
Watson, 34, who had a history of serious offenses, was being held on a traffic charge and parole violation. Watson and Davis were in the same dorm.
— Timothy Powell, 54, was stabbed in the eye on Dec. 14 with a comb that was sharpened and turned into a weapon. Darrell Tucker has been charged with aggravated battery.
Tucker admitted to the crime, the sheriff said. The men had an ongoing dispute, according to the sheriff.
“Inmates are making shanks out of various materials — everything from a comb which you can buy in the store to pieces of the facility,” Tompkins said.
The recent attacks point to a bigger problem, Tompkins said.
“There are so many inmates charged with serious offenses and they already don’t have anything to lose,” the sheriff said. “It’s hard to motivate people who don’t have anything to lose.”