UPDATE: Grand Jury to Hear Case of Jail Guards Charged with Assaulting Prisoner

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 9/4/14
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three corrections officers at the Lawrence County Jail charged for their alleged roles in the assault of an inmate at the jail last month have waived their cases to a grand jury

Ronald Hatfield, 25, and Jeremy Hanshaw, 36, are each charged with Felonious Assault, while Jason Mays, 22, is charged with of Tampering with Evidence.

Preliminary hearings for the men were supposed to take place Thursday morning in Ironton Municipal Court. Instead of hearing testimony from investigators, the men waived their cases to a grand jury.

The three were arrested last week, following an investigation by Sheriff Jeff Lawless into the alleged inappropriate treatment of a prisoner who was being booked for disorderly conduct on August 16.

During the course of the investigation, Lawless say he fired two of the men and placed the other on administrative leave.

Details of the alleged incident have not been released.



UPDATE 8/28/14 @ 11 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three correction officers at the Lawrence County Jail have been charged in their alleged role in the assault of an inmate earlier this month.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless says that Ronald Hatfield, 25, and Jeremy Hanshaw, 36, have been charged with Felonious Assault. Both men are in custody and were arraigned on the charge earlier Thursday afternoon.

Lawless says an arrest warrant had been obtained for Jason Mays, 22, on a charge of Tampering with Evidence.

The Sheriff says the investigation began on August 19, when an employee informed him of possible misconduct by other employees in the jail on August 16.

Lawless says the prisoner in question was released shortly before the booking process and attempts by detectives to locate him were originally unsuccessful.

The Sheriff says the next day he put the three correction officers on notice that they were the focus of an internal investigation. The decision came after detectives said they believed the officers had been involved in the inappropriate treatment of a prisoner who was being booked for disorderly conduct.

"We hadn't had any real issues out of these guys up to now,” Lawless said. “It's surprising to me. It's embarrassing to me."

On August 21, Lawless says detectives presented a statement from an eyewitness, along with other collaborating evidence that indicated a possible crime had been committed. The same day, one of the correction officers was fired, while the other two were placed on administrative leave.

On August 22, detectives located the former prisoner and obtained his information.

Thursday morning, the three men were charged in the alleged incident after a meeting with the Lawrence County Prosecutor. Lawless has not released details of the alleged incident.

“I am not sure this man would have ever returned to complain and I could have sat on it and possibly saved a ‘black eye’ on the agency but the person I am would not allow me to do this,” said Lawless. “I took and oath to uphold the law and protect all citizens.”

Lawless says the investigation continues and additional charges could be added. The name of the former inmate was not released.

"Detectives and the prosecutor do not see any justification for the incident from the evidence we've collected so far."

The sheriff says the three men were released on bond. Their preliminary hearing is set for September 4.

Both men were hired as correction officers in June 2013. Mays was hired this past June.

Keep on clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/28/14 @ 3:30 p.m.
IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Three correction officers at the Lawrence County Jail have been charged in their alleged role in the assault of an inmate earlier this month.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless says that Ronald Hatfield, 25, and Jeremy Hanshaw, 36, have been charged with Felonious Assault. Both men are in custody and were arraigned on the charge earlier Thursday afternoon.

Lawless says an arrest warrant had been obtained for Jason Mays, 22, on a charge of Tampering with Evidence.

The Sheriff says the investigation began on August 19, when an employee informed him of possible misconduct by other employees in the jail on August 16.

Lawless says the prisoner in question was released shortly before the booking process and attempts by detectives to locate him were originally unsuccessful.

The Sheriff says the next day he put the three correction officers on notice that they were the focus of an internal investigation. The decision came after detectives said they believed the officers had been involved in the inappropriate treatment of a prisoner who was being booked for disorderly conduct.

On August 21, Lawless says detectives presented a statement from an eyewitness, along with other collaborating evidence that indicated a possible crime had been committed. The same day, one of the correction officers was fired, while the other two were placed on administrative leave.

On August 22, detectives located the former prisoner and obtained his information.

Thursday morning, the three men were charged in the alleged incident after a meeting with the Lawrence County Prosecutor. Lawless has not released details of the alleged incident.

“I am not sure this man would have ever returned to complain and I could have sat on it and possibly saved a ‘black eye’ on the agency but the person I am would not allow me to do this,” said Lawless. “I took and oath to uphold the law and protect all citizens.”

Lawless says the investigation continues and additional charges could be added. The name of the former inmate was not released.

Hatfield and Hanshaw are being taken to the Morrow County Jail if they fail to make bond.

Both men were hired as correction officers in June 2013. Mays was hired this past June.

Keep on clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 273074581 - wsaz.com/a?a=273074581