Inmate stabbed, assaulted at OPP, sheriff says _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Marlin Gusman.

An Orleans Parish Prison inmate awaiting trial on burglary charges remained hospitalized Tuesday evening, a day after he was assaulted and stabbed by a group of four other inmates.

Daniel Q. Butler, 28, received puncture wounds to his head and back, but authorities said the wounds were not considered to be life-threatening.

Few details of the assault were made public, but Sheriff Marlin Gusman issued a statement saying Butler had been assaulted in the day room “as the result of an altercation.”

The sheriff said charges are still pending, and it did not appear any of Butler’s alleged assailants had been rebooked as of late Tuesday.

Philip Stelly, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the incident happened at 5:25 p.m. Monday.

Gusman identified Butler’s assailants as Eric Carr, 19; Gerald McDuffy, 33; Charles Casborn, 23; and Shamond Daniels, 20. Casborn is awaiting trial on second-degree murder charges.

The seemingly relentless violence at OPP prompted a class-action lawsuit that last year led a federal judge to order wide-ranging reforms at the jail in a consent decree between the Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Homemade knives, or shanks, have been used in a number of inmate attacks, including an incident in July in which an apparently suicidal inmate injured three deputies. The inmate, Reginald Pye, was not being housed in the mental health unit of the jail and allegedly had refused to come down from atop a table, where he had been waving a Bible in one hand and a knife in the other.

The team of court-appointed experts tasked with monitoring the court-ordered jail reforms issued a progress report last month that attributed much of the violence to staffing shortages that at times have caused entire tiers of the jail to be unsupervised.

The monitors also said there are “insufficient inspections of housing units.”

“Shakedowns are not conducted with sufficient frequency as evidenced by the contraband items (particularly homemade shanks) used by inmates to assault one another and the large amount of contraband which is discovered each time shakedowns do occur,” the monitors wrote. “There is no effort to determine the source of the contraband and remediate the danger.”

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