5th Tennessee jailer pleads guilty to punching inmate

Published 1:15 pm Friday, June 12, 2020

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TIPTONVILLE (AP) — A former Tennessee corrections officer pleaded guilty to repeatedly punching an inmate and lying about it afterward.
Former Tennessee Department of Corrections officer Jonathan York, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday to using unlawful force on an inmate and then conspiring to cover up the incident, The Department of Justice said in a news release.
The release said York admitted to beating an inmate on Feb. 1, 2019, in the mental health unit at the Northwest County Correctional Complex in Tiptonville. The assault was in retaliation after the inmate spit at officers earlier in the day, it said.
York told authorities he asked another officer to cover the surveillance camera while he punched the inmate around 30 times.
York also admitted that two other officers punched the inmate while York watched.
After the assault, a supervisory officer told the group to say the inmate’s injuries were self-inflected.
York acknowledged lying about the assault afterward.
York is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2021. He faces up to 10 years in prison for the excessive force and five years for covering it up.
Former correctional officers Nathaniel Griffin, Tanner Penwell, Carl Spurlin Jr. and Cadie McAlister previously entered guilty pleas for their roles in the assault.

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