2 jailers assaulted by inmate in Jackson Co., officials say

47-year-old Bobby Wayne Fennell, who is currently being held at the Jackson County Jail for drug charges, will now face two counts of 2nd degree assault after hitting two deputies.

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 3:45 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 6:14 PM

A deputy at the Jackson County Jail is out of the hospital after an inmate attacked him and another jailer.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said, Bobby Wayne Fennell attacked them both, and one of his victims needed stitches.

According to Sheriff Chuck Phillips, incidents like this don’t happen in Jackson County very often, but he says the jail is currently understaffed, and that could be a reason why the inmate was able to assault two jailers at all.

“The employee may not have been as injured as bad if he had had some help back there with him, someone that could have helped him," said Sheriff Phillips. "I mean the inmate got our jail staff down on the floor.”

Bobby Wayne Fennell, 47, who is currently being held at the Jackson County Jail for drug charges, will now face two counts of 2nd degree assault after hitting two deputies.

This is something those in Jackson County say is unacceptable, and will continue to happen if something isn’t done about it.

“It does happen in almost every jail, especially if they’re understaffed, and they don’t have a nightstick or a weapon to protect themselves with," said Jackson County resident, John Montieth.

And he’s not the only who thinks jailers need more protection.

“Heavily arm the guards," said another Jackson County resident, Larry Knight. "And if that doesn’t work, start shooting.”

According to officials, jailers don’t carry guns, but they do have access to pepper spray and tasers.

However, the sheriff believes something else may be the problem.

“Our jail staff may get a little bit too complacent sometimes working around the inmates because 99% of the time, there’s not an issue," Phillips said.

And he’s not the only one who thinks the jailers may be too comfortable around the inmates.

“Jails are run like motels nowadays. They treat the prisoners like guests instead of prisoners," Montieth said. "Treat them like a prisoner.”

Still, Sheriff Phillips said, the biggest problem is there aren’t enough guards; and, unfortunately, they don’t have the money to hire more.

“Instead of having one jail staff member going back there, doing something, you should have two—at least two," Phillips said. "And being understaffed, sometimes you don’t have but one that can go back there.”

And until they can hire more, Knight believes he may have a solution.

“The only thing or remedy to it would be a 24/7 lock down," Knight said.

Officials tell WAAY 31 that Fennell is currently on lock down inside the jail and will go before a judge some time next week.

Huntsville/Redstone
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 58°
Muscle Shoals
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntsville/Madison
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Fort Payne
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768946

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby866001472
Davidson80790841
Knox45241571
Hamilton39979454
Rutherford37906375
Williamson25011202
Sumner21166312
Montgomery17207207
Out of TN1667091
Wilson16194209
Unassigned15662125
Sullivan14169273
Blount13929178
Bradley12734138
Washington12671231
Maury12141159
Sevier11889161
Putnam10537168
Madison10049226
Robertson8886118
Hamblen7958161
Anderson7893155
Greene7258144
Tipton6896101
Coffee6264114
Gibson6168140
Dickson6148103
Cumberland6072117
Carter5926152
McMinn586289
Roane581795
Bedford5756117
Loudon563164
Jefferson5580116
Lawrence554681
Warren529875
Monroe526389
Dyer5222101
Hawkins518793
Franklin470684
Fayette463771
Obion435794
Rhea411773
Lincoln410561
Cocke396192
Marshall388354
Cheatham385743
Campbell378158
Weakley377559
Giles371095
Henderson361173
Carroll346881
Hardeman337663
Macon335073
White333965
Hardin329762
Lauderdale309342
Henry298975
Marion290244
Wayne286430
Scott285042
Overton283757
Claiborne273666
McNairy265051
Haywood264359
Hickman262840
DeKalb261548
Smith253336
Grainger240746
Trousdale237922
Morgan228537
Fentress228344
Johnson215038
Chester200647
Bledsoe198210
Crockett196946
Unicoi179347
Cannon173628
Polk173621
Union168930
Lake167326
Grundy166330
Sequatchie153927
Decatur153137
Humphreys151321
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125421
Jackson124834
Stewart123124
Clay106230
Perry102527
Houston102330
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events