A Floyd County grand jury sent a message with indictments issued last week against more than a dozen inmates accused of assault, promoting contraband and other charges.

The Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney office released indictments issued by the grand jury against 16 inmates, one of whom was indicted for allegedly trying to start a fire at the jail, four of whom were indicted for alleged fights or assaults on corrections officers and the rest of whom are accused of trying to bring drugs or other illegal contraband into the jail. 

“It’s something that we’re not going to let up on or stop,” Jailer Stuart “Bear” Halbert said. “It don’t matter who, what, when or where. I think in the four-and-a-half years that I’ve been here, this should be about 230 or 240 indictments that we’ve got, and I’m not going to stop. I mean, I know it will never stop, but I’m not going to let up, either. It’s just something that we’re trying to do to make the jail safer, erode drugs and everything.”

Halbert said officials will seek stiff penalties in these cases, particularly in cases in which inmates are accused of assaulting officers. 

“If we have an assault on an officer … we’ll see that those are prosecuted to the fullest,” Halbert said. “And we will not let up and we will not give in. They’ll get the maximum amount of whatever we can do by law for those. That’s something that will not be tolerated.” 

The jail now has cameras in every cell, he reported, and the videos will be used to prosecute inmates when incidents occur. He’s been pushing Floyd County judges to sentence inmates convicted on assaults so that their sentence runs consecutive to time they get in other cases. 

“I’m not going to stop and my staff aren’t going to,” Halbert said. “That’s what we’re actually trying to do is to send a message to them and let them know that it’s not going stop.”

Keson Lee, 21, of Detroit, Michigan, was indicted on one count of first-degree arson, a Class D felony, for allegedly trying to start a fire at the jail in April. According to documents filed when Lee was initially arrested on the charge, he allegedly piled up toilet paper and notebook paper at the door of his cell and used an e-cigarette battery to start a fire. 

“He then got a town and covered his nose and mouth and sit down on his mat,” Lt. Parker DeRossett wrote in the arrest citation. Halbert said Lee was inside an isolation cell when the fire started and it was detected with a video camera.

Shawn Hamilton, 32, of Harold, was indicted for third-degree assault of a corrections officer, a Class D felony, for allegedly hitting Deputy Jailer Justin Isaac in March, causing him to fall and hit his head. 

Darrell Hill, 34, of Melvin, was indicted for third-degree assault of a corrections officer and for allegedly being a persistent felony offender in the first-degree. He was arrested at the jail in March for allegedly punching Deputy Jailer William Henegar four times on March 27. The persistent felony offender charge, which could increase his sentence if he is convicted, alleges he has been convicted of at least two other felonies. 

Kevin Moore, 29, of Hi Hat, was also indicted for third-degree assault of a corrections officer and for allegedly being a persistent felony offender in the second-degree. 

The assault charge was filed for an alleged incident that occurred in January, during which Moore is accused of assaulting deputy jailers Tyler Musick and McKay McFaddin.

Joshua Henson, 34, of Myra in Pike County, was indicted on one count of second-degree assault and one count of first-degree wanton endangerment following an alleged fight that occurred at the jail.

According to documents filed in Floyd District Court when Henson was initially arrested, he allegedly got into an altercation in March with another inmate, James Hall. Hall received a broken jaw during the fight and multiple stitches in his head, the court record says.

The cases in which inmates were indicted for allegedly promoting contraband include the following:

•Stephanie Little, 35, of Weeksbury; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia 

•Randa Hamilton, 26, of Harold; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, second-degree persistent felony offender

•Jesse Keathley, 32, of Galveston; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree persistent felony offender 

•Mark Tackett, 31, of Beaver; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, first-degree persistent felony offender

•Joshua Yates, 29, of Printer; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia 

•Justin Slone, 40, of Garret; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, second-degree persistent felony offender 

•Misty Lamartz, 34, of Teaberry; first- and second-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence

•Heather Slone, 37, of Water Gap; first-degree promoting contraband

•Bertle Bailey, 42, of Hueysville; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree persistent felony offender 

•Jonathan Howell, 36, of Beaver; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree persistent felony offender

•Belinda Shelton, 43, of Martin; first-degree promoting contraband, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, second-degree persistent felony offender 

The grand jury also indicted several people last week for first-degree bail jumping. They include Criscella Robinette, 26, of Pikeville, Shawn D. Wright, 40, of Martin, Brittany Hall, 25, of Prestonsburg and Michael Ray Bailey, 37, of Prestonsburg. If convicted, those individuals face a sentence of between one and five years. 

Editor’s note: An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

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