Eight inmates have been booked in connection with a July 5 stabbing in the Conchetta building of Orleans Parish Prison that sent a prisoner to the hospital and again raised questions about safety within the jail’s walls.
Inmates Melvin Lee, Ervin New, Loshon Ballard, Tyrell Clark, Nyron Jacques, Brian Miskell, Robert Constant and Don Monet each were booked Monday on a count of aggravated second-degree battery.
It was not clear whether authorities believe all eight inmates stabbed the victim or some were merely parties to the assault.
Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Philip Stelly said “the investigation is ongoing” into how the attackers were able to obtain a weapon and how many directly stabbed the victim.
The victim, 30, was taken to Interim LSU Hospital for treatment and returned to the jail the next day.
“I don’t have any information on the extent of the injuries, and I’m not sure I could disclose that because of medical privacy,” Stelly said.
The stabbing is the latest in a long line of incidents that raise serious questions about safety inside the Conchetta facility on Tulane Avenue.
In a June 2014 incident, three teens allegedly “stomped” another inmate, 16, on the youth tier at Conchetta. The next month, an apparently suicidal inmate waving a Bible in one hand used a shank to cut two deputies, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Another stomping inside Conchetta in January left a victim bruised, battered and incoherent.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman has been battling Mayor Mitch Landrieu about when he can open a new jail facility, which he promises will alleviate many of the failings identified in a 2013 federal consent decree agreement mandating improved conditions for inmates. On Thursday, the Landrieu administration withdrew its legal challenge to the new jail in Civil District Court, opening the way for the new building to begin accepting inmates as soon as August.
The victim of the latest attack was convicted of forcible rape in 2011, according to court records. He completed his sentence for that crime and is now jailed for failing to notify law enforcement of a change in his sex-offender registration information.