HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A grand jury has indicted five Harris County Sheriff's Office detention officers in the September 2016 beating a jail inmate.
“The evidence shows these detention officers crossed the line when it comes to the use of force,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “They caused severe injury to an inmate who needed screws, stitches and a plate to reconstruct his face and a shattered eye socket.”
Jeremy Ringle, Joshua Degler, Napoleon Harmon and Andrew Rowell were indicted for aggravated assault by a public servant, a first degree felony. The four men each face a punishment of five to 99 years in prison, or a life sentence, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Salvador Garibay was indicted on misdemeanor assault. He faces a punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
“A grand jury has determined that there is sufficient evidence these detention officers broke the law and that they should face trial for their actions,” said Ogg.
All five of the detention officers were working on the second floor of the Harris County jail on 1200 Baker Street at the time of the assault incident.
The Internal Affairs Division of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and presented it to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division.
“The evidence shows that Jerome Bartee exchanged words with some detention officers,” said Assistant District Attorney Jules Johnson of the Civil Rights Division. “He was yanked to the ground by a number of Sheriff’s Office employees and beaten to the point he was unrecognizable.”
Following the grand jury’s decision, warrants were issued for the arrest of each defendant. They are expected to surrender, secure release on bond and be assigned dates to appear in court.
“These cases will proceed like any other criminal cases in Harris County,” said Johnson.