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Fla. woman offers $100 jailhouse bounty to assault inmate

Sheriff: “These dirtbags thought they could attack or order an attack on another inmate and not get caught.”


Margaret Octaviea Watkins offered the bounty that left the victim with a broken wrist and lacerations.

Flagler County Sheriff’s Office / Facebook

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

BUNELL, Fla. — A woman’s elaborate plan to see a Florida inmate suffer ended in her own arrest after investigators learned of a jailhouse “bounty” offered to get the man beaten, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

Five other inmates jumped at the $100 reward, resulting in the man being hospitalized, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

The 37-year-old Bunnell woman and her 52-year-old boyfriend were arrested on Dec. 2, after a five-month investigation, officials said.

An affidavit reports the two were partners in the “hit,” which was ordered because the inmate was “a ‘rat’ for telling law enforcement that (the woman) was selling drugs.”

The attack happened June 20 in the Flagler County detention center in Bunnell as the victim was recovering from “preexisting injuries,” officials said. Bunnell is about 65 miles south of Jacksonville.

“The victim ... was lured to a jail cell, then brutally attacked by five fellow inmates,” officials said.

“The attackers used bed sheets to obscure the view into the cell, preventing detention deputies from observing the attack. The victim was subsequently taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries, which included a broken wrist and lacerations.”

Deputies charged the five inmates with “battery by a detained person upon another detainee,” officials said.

It was later discovered a couple living in Bunnell had planned the attack, the sheriff’s office said.

A woman “offered a bounty of $100 to have the victim beaten in the facility” and her boyfriend, who was a former inmate, “relayed the bounty to the five suspects who then carried out the attack,” officials said.

Investigators charged the couple with “principal to aggravated battery by a detained person upon another detainee were obtained.”

The two, who live at the same address, have a “lengthy criminal history,” officials said.

Investigators said the five inmates who participated in the beating are in jail on charges ranging from first-degree murder to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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