Ala. corrections officer charged in lacing of inmates' cigarettes

Authorities said the CO placed an irritant on the inmates' cigarettes, which led to respiratory issues

By Carol Robinson

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — A north Alabama jailer fired last week amid accusations he tampered with inmates' cigarettes is now criminally charged.

Jaylend Edward Handley, 26, of Hartselle, turned himself in at the Morgan County Jail Thursday where he formerly was a corrections officer. Sheriff Ron Puckett said Handley is charged with four counts of third-degree assault.

Handley’s firing was announced Friday following an incident where authorities said Handley placed an irritant on inmates' cigarettes, which caused respiratory issues. Corrections staff, uninvolved in the incident, immediately initiated a medical call and began rendering aid to those affected. As a precaution, the inmates were transported to the hospital, treated and released back to the jail.

Authorities have not identified the substance that sickened the inmates.

The case was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division. "We will not condone any misconduct by any members of our organization,'' the sheriff said last week. “Our Corrections staff is charged with the care, custody and control of our inmates. We cannot accept anything less.”

Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor.

Handley was booked into the jail with bond set at $1,200.


(c)2020 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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