Former Deputy Charged In Inmate's Death - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former Deputy Charged In Inmate's Death

Former Harrison County Deputy Ryan Teel, 29, was arrested Monday morning in connection with the death of Jessie Lee Williams.

Williams was an inmate at the Harrison County Jail on the night of February 4, 2006. That's when the alleged beating took place. Williams died two days later after he was removed from life support.

The indictment alleges that Teel assaulted Williams, which resulted in the inmate's death.

The indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury charges Teel with "Deprivation of rights under color of law," and "Destruction, altercation, or falsification of records in Federal investigations" with "the intent to impede, obstruct and influence the investigation."

The first charge carries a sentence of life in prison. The second carries a sentence of 20 years in prison.

Teel made his initial appearance in court Monday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Roper in Gulfport.

The prosecution of Teel's case will be handled by U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton and attorneys with the Justice Department's civil rights division.

Former jailer Regina Rhodes pleaded guilty last month to injuring Williams with repeated blows while he was restrained. She will be sentenced Oct. 16. Rhodes faces up to 13 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for violating Williams' civil rights.

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