Incarceration is not a happy existence. The days are boring and inmates may be forced to socialize with other inmates whom they do not like. Occasionally, these tensions boil over and produce open conflicts. In some cases, as in the recent incident in the Jackson County jail, these conflicts produce tragic outcomes.
Incident and investigation
A man from Ocean Springs had been arrested on a DUI charge and incarcerated in the Jackson County jail. When sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a fight in one of the dayrooms, they found the man lying on the floor. He was unconscious and was transported first to Singing River Hospital and then to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where he died at about 4:45 p.m.
The other party to the fight was believed to have been a 27 year-old man with a record of prior arrests. The man’s prior charges include aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a firearm. He was reported to have other manslaughter charges pending.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is assisting sheriff’s deputies in investigating the case. Early media reports of the incident did not indicate whether any other inmates witnessed the fight. The decedent appeared to have no prior criminal charges on his record.
What could be the next steps?
The defendant will receive (if he has not already) written notice of the charges against him arising out of the fight in the jail. He will then face arraignment and have the opportunity to enter a plea.
The suspect in this case is facing very serious criminal charges. The seriousness is increased by the prior charges pending against the man. Anyone who is facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal arguments and other elements of a defense strategy, and, if appropriate, assist in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement with the prosecutor.