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Inmates charged in jail fight

Jason Werling • Mar 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

A Thursday morning assault in the Erie County jail sent one inmate to the hospital as a result of what appears to be an act of retaliation, deputies said.

Kory Howell, 29, of the 2100 block of Cleveland Road W. in Huron, was treated with eight stitches at Firelands Regional Medical Center following the incident.

Jail cell doors swing open just after 7 a.m. It was then Devontae Knight, Sheldon Murphy and Marieon Ross made a beeline for Howell’s cell, according to an Erie County deputy’s report.

“They told (Howell) that they knew he had snitched on (Demarriay) Fuller and told him that he better give them his food tray” the report stated.

Breakfast came and went without ado. But the trio then returned to Howell’s cell, joined by Ffence Light, and went at him, the report said.

It was then Ross and Murphy lunged. They allegedly pummeled his head, causing injuries to his eye and face, deputies said.

Howell later told investigators he did not know if Knight struck him, as he was covering his face to avoid the assault, the report said. Light, meanwhile, never swung at all, Howell said.

Sean O’Donnell had been talking to Howell in his cell at the time, the report said. He later told deputies the four men entered and told him to move out of the way because they had to speak with Howell.

“He said he … began to move out of the way as Ross and Murphy walked toward Howell and began swinging on him, striking Howell several times,” the report stated.

When Howell later returned from the hospital, he walked past Murphy in his cell.

“I thought you said you weren’t a snitch. Why did you tell on us?” Murphy allegedly told Howell.

Light later told deputies he did not assault anyone and did not see anything inside the cell.

“I asked Light how Howell sustained his injuries and Light told me Howell must have done it to himself” the report stated.

Deputies have not yet leveled charges against any of the men allegedly involved. Rather, they plan to take the case before April’s grand jury to determine charges, deputies said.

Jail surveillance showed the men enter and leave Howell’s cell, but did not provide a clear shot of the alleged assault.

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