Sheriff, warden sued over jail inmate's beating death - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Sheriff, warden sued over jail inmate's beating death

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A federal lawsuit claims a Louisiana sheriff and a jail warden failed to protect a prisoner from being beaten to death by a dozen other inmates last year in an attack that an eyewitness compared to a "shark feeding frenzy."

Relatives of the slain 40-year-old prisoner, Tommy Joe Smith, sued Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards and the warden, Stuart Murphy, on Tuesday.

The lawsuit says Smith was jailed last January on a probation violation stemming from a 2015 conviction for a sex crime. The suit claims staff at the parish jail didn't segregate Smith from violent prisoners even though his criminal history made him a target.

Edwards' brother is Gov. John Bel Edwards. The sheriff didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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