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Civil suit filed against former corrections officer

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:46 PM CDT
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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - A former Morgan County Corrections Officer who pleaded guilty to placing an irritant on inmates’ cigarettes is now getting slapped with a civil suit from one of those inmates.

”It turned out the jailor had put some kind of spray on there to make them sick,” said Attorney, Martin Weinberg.

Former corrections officer Jaylend Handley pleaded guilty to four counts of assault in the third degree for allegedly spraying an inmate’s cigarettes with an irritant spray normally used for self-defense.

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Court records show he has since filed an appeal and was bonded out of jail.

“They were Having respiratory issues right after and they were taken to the hospital,” said Weinberg.

Attorney Martin Weinberg represents Laron Edwards, the inmate who smoked the cigarettes Handley allegedly tampered with.

He says Edwards shared those cigarettes with three other inmates, leading all four of them to suffer.

A complaint shows he did it to retaliate for something Edwards had previously said... Now, Edwards is filing a civil suit.

“We filed suit against the officer and sheriff anyone who is responsible,” said Weinberg.

Weinberg says Handley needs to be held accountable.

“There are proper disciplinary proceedings. They have those in place but he took it upon himself to do something harmful and it cost the taxpayers money to send these folks to the hospital.”

This is on the heels of an escape by a Lauderdale County Jail inmate, allegedly with the help of Corrections officer Vicky White, who turned a gun on herself before the duo was caught by law enforcement. White was an exemplary employee before the escape.

Weinberg says we have to be careful who we hire as correction officers.

“We have got to have the right people in these positions. We want a system where people ar beheld accountable on both ends. That is not happening.”

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