Fla. inmate sentenced to 20 years for 2017 CO assault

The officer was stabbed multiple times with a shank-type weapon during a riot


By Sarah Sinning

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — An inmate has been sentenced to 20 years for attacking a correctional officer during a 2017 riot at the Gulf Correctional Institution in Gulf County, Florida, the News Herald reports.  

Jose Moreira was found guilty on October 28 of aggravated battery and battery on a law enforcement officer. He was one of several inmates charged in the attack, which resulted in the officer being stabbed multiple times with a shank-type weapon. 

Jose Moreira was deemed a habitual offender and sentenced last Tuesday.
Jose Moreira was deemed a habitual offender and sentenced last Tuesday. (State Attorney Larry Basford)

According to a statement from State Attorney Larry Basford, Moreira was deemed a habitual offender during the sentencing hearing, which led to the harsher penalty. Aggravated battery usually carries a 15 year maximum sentence in the state.

Moreira's previous felony convictions, Basford said, included two for dealing in stolen property, three burglaries, two grand thefts, one possession of a controlled substance, and one felon in
possession of a firearm.

During the trial, the CO who was assaulted said that he had tried to create distance between himself and a group of inmates chasing him with weapons. Another officer testified that he saw Moreira making a stabbing-like motion at the victim after he was knocked to the ground.

The weapon used in the attack was recovered after responding officers deployed chemical agents to disperse the group. 

State Attorney Larry Basford

 

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