Sheriff: Lawrence County Jail inmate bites one jailer, hits another

The inmate is facing two charges of second degree assault

Posted: Jan 8, 2019 1:58 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 5:07 PM

An inmate at the Lawrence County Jail has been charged with assault after biting one corrections officer and hitting another.

Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said investigators are working a case involving Lawrence County Jail inmate Earl Bates from Hillsboro.

In a press release from the sheriff's office, Mitchell said the first altercation happened about 8:30 p.m. Monday when a corrections officer attempted to remove items from Bates' cell that he was using to aid in flooding his cell. Mitchell said Bates bit the officer on the forearm.

Mitchell said Bates hit another officer about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday while the jailer was picking up the inmate's lunch tray.

Mitchell said the officers involved were checked out medically but not hospitalized.

Mitchell earlier said two jailers are on staff at all times, and typically there are four of them. He said the jail holds around 115 inmates but recently they've had up to 180 inmates.

He said this is because the Alabama Legislature passed a bill last year that has inmates spend more time in county jails instead of prisons to keep down on prison overcrowding. He said this has now caused more inmates to stay longer periods of time in county jails.

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