Trial Begins For Two Marion County Officers Accused Of Beating An Inmate
OCALA - Two Marion County corrections officers faced their first day in court today after they were charged with beating a prisoner. The two guards are now on the other side of the law. Both are being charged with simple battery and can face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine.
A jury of four women and four men were selected to decide the fate of two Marion County guards who allegedly beat an inmate. The beating described as unjustifiable and excessive by another guard who witnessed the event.
“He told me he was going to kick my ass," Douglas Kizzart claims these are the words Marion County officer Dustin Lay told him, as he and another officer at the jail Richard smith beat him in the medical pod, where suicide watch inmates are housed.
According to Janet lucky, a guard at the jail, the inmate's head was slammed into the glass by officer smith. A significant slam she recalls. "Very hard... Hard enough that I thought the inmate's skull was cracked. It was hard, very hard," Lucky said.
The attack happened over a clogged cell toilet. While Kizzart says the accident wasn't his fault, the defense team claims he wasn't cooperating. According to officer Lucky says Kizzart didn't show any signs of aggression towards the guards despite being punched violently in the ribs.
Lucky said, "He was actually bracing himself trying to brace himself from getting punched. Was he saying anything? Yes. What was the inmate saying at that point? What did I do? What did I do?"
Prior to the attack, officer Lucky says she noticed officer lay looked angry and that he even told her, quote-unquote 'I just wanted to use spray on someone,' pepper spray that is. "The chemical spray we use as guards, pepper spray. And what do you think he meant by that? He was very angered," Lucky said.
One of the attorneys for the defendants pointed out officer lucky did not immediately report the physical attack or jot it down in her daily log. Correctional officer, Kyle Kern who also witnessed the event admitted while testifying on the stand. He lied about what happened to his superiors out of fear.
Before admitting what he witnessed, he called officer lay to talk to him about what happened. He was reportedly told by officer lay not to be concerned and that he'd done this a hundred times. "He said for me not to worry about it, that he'd done this more than a few times," Kern said.
There is no video evidence from the jail that caught the incident because that specific part of the medical pod does not capture surveillance video.
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