Courtroom assault sends three to ER
A dangerous situation broke loose during the Johnson County Circuit Court on Friday, Jan. 3 involving an inmate, two bailiffs, a probation and parole officer and the commonwealth’s attorney.
According to Johnson County Circuit Court Clerk Penny Adams, Big Sandy Regional Detention Center inmate Timothy J. Hall, 26, of Paintsville, was cuffed and shackled when he assaulted the other men.
“They just couldn’t do anything with him,” she said.
According to Adams, bailiffs James Wright and Don Webb were two of the assault victims.
“He knocked James (Wright), at the beginning, into the door when he was taking them back to the cell,” Adams said. “That’s when it all broke loose.”
Adams said that Commonwealth’s Attorney Floyd Anthony “Tony” Skeans jumped in to help the other men. “Tony, actually, was in the floor with them. Had to help them. It was bad. It was really the scariest thing,” she said. “The defense table was knocked sideways. There was blood on it and a couple of spots on the carpet, so I know somebody got hurt.
She also stated that she was not sure what triggered the event.
Skeans said Friday the incident was a “dangerous situation”.
“It became obvious that Mr. Hall was not going down and that they did not have enough court security officers there to restrain him,” Skeans said. “I made the decision that I had to assist whenever it became obvious that one of the bailiffs had lost a loaded firearm and that loaded firearm was now loose in the courtroom and to keep Mr. Hall from getting his hands on that gun. I believe at that time is when a lot of the other people who would not normally be involved in court security work (got involved).”
Johnson County Sheriff Doug Saylor said the two bailiffs, along with Probation and Parole Officer James Blair, visited the emergency room at Paul B. Hall Medical Center to be evaluated for minor injuries. He noted that the ER visit was “just a technicality” and that the men suffered from only “a few scuffs and scrapes.”
According to Saylor, the inmate will receive “three charges of assault, third degree, plus a couple extra charges” over the matter.
By Reagan Coburn
The Paintsville Herald