A Georgia inmate is facing new criminal charges after he tunneled through a shower wall and stabbed another inmate in a neighboring cell block, authorities said.
Kavian Thomas allegedly dug a hole through a wall made of concrete and metal at Rice Street jail in Fulton County on May 17, granting him access to the adjacent cell block where Derondney Russell was being held. Thomas stabbed Russell multiple times in his upper body before officers intervened and stopped the attack, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Russell suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated in the medical unit of the jail. Thomas will face additional charges for the assault. The motive for the stabbing is unclear.
The incident exposed the dangerous conditions of the jail facility, which has been operating since 1989 and is in need of repairs and upgrades. Officers searched both cells and found several weapons, some made from parts of the dilapidated building infrastructure.
“It presents a constant challenge for us to eliminate things like this from access to the inmates,” said Curtis Clark, the interim Fulton County Jail commander. “This jail has clearly outlived its useful life. That reality makes it even more challenging for us to do our job of providing the safest possible environment, not only for staff but for the inmates as well.”
Clark told local media that he has lost sleep over the issues at the jail and that he hopes to get funding and support from county officials to improve the situation.
“We found shanks that were made from parts of the building,” he said. “I’ve lost so much sleep since being assigned to run this location or this facility, it’s really … it’s difficult to talk about.”
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- Inmate tunnels through wall, stabs man in neighboring cell, prison officials say | WMAY | May 22, 2023