New violence at Parish Prison sends two inmates to hospital _lowres

Javon Tapp, left, and Theron Carter

At least four inmates have been rebooked on battery charges in the wake of two separate fights last month at Orleans Parish Prison, including a stomping incident that the Sheriff’s Office said rendered one inmate “unable to speak or understand anything.”

The most recent violence highlighted the continued dangers inmates face at OPP, even as Sheriff Marlin Gusman attempts to implement a series of federally mandated and monitored reforms.

Two inmates — Javon Tapp and Theron Carter, both 18 — are accused of assaulting fellow detainee Bruce Hall on Jan. 22 at the jail’s Conchetta facility on Tulane Avenue, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

Hall, 27, was taken to the hospital, “unable to speak or understand anything,” the report says. A Sheriff’s Office spokesman did not return a call Tuesday seeking further details on his injuries.

Carter, who had been jailed on two counts of property crimes, stomped on and kicked Hall’s head repeatedly in an attack that was “observed by” a deputy assigned to the dorm, the report says. Carter later admitted to the assault, the report says, but he claimed he “did so in defending himself against the victim, who initially attacked him.”

Investigators identified Tapp, who was being held on drug charges, as an inmate seen on surveillance video “jumping in” on the victim during the attack, according to court records. He and Carter both were rebooked on a count of second-degree battery.

In a separate fight Thursday morning, a 22-year-old inmate received an apparently fractured jaw and bruises to his face after at least two inmates attacked him “for his commissary,” court documents show.

The inmate, Dedwin Shelling, was no longer being held at the jail Tuesday. The Times-Picayune, which first reported the recent jailhouse attacks, said Shelling appeared to have been arrested on a traffic warrant from Jefferson Parish.

Jeremic Hensley, 20, and Dmiran Thomas, 19, were rebooked on second-degree battery and simple battery counts, accused of attacking Shelling at the jail’s Templeman V facility.

Shelling told the authorities that he been “jumped” for his commissary — not otherwise explained — on Wednesday but had not said anything to deputies despite having received minor injuries. The next morning, he told investigators, the same inmates attacked him again, but this time his injuries were more serious, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. He also was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Jailhouse attacks have continued to plague OPP despite a sweeping court-ordered plan for reforms at the jail — an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, overseen by a federal judge, intended to reduce the prevalence of violence at the troubled jail.

Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.