A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing a woman in her home. A Pasco County judge sentenced Derral Wayne Hodgkins on Friday. He was convicted in August 2011 of first-degree murder.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A second detention deputy of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has been arrested in connection to an inmate fight facilitated by another deputy in December.
Vantavia Jackson, 32, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail for fewer than one hour for failing to document a fight in the jail's logs, while sitting at the control tower of the Special Confinement Management Housing Unit.
She was charged with culpable negligence and two counts of official misconduct.
It all started when Detention Deputy Derrick Antonio Daniels, 39, was charged with tampering with evidence, culpable negligence, aggravated battery and three counts of official misconduct.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Daniels released inmate Taurus Turnquest, 34, of Riviera Beach from his cell on Dec. 12 and allowed him to enter the cell of Lajuane Dunnaway, 36, of West Palm Beach.
Turnquest had been threatening to kill Dunnaway. The inmates were not supposed to have contact with each other.
Turnquest grabbed Dunnaway's pencil and stabbed him, causing back and neck wounds. He also used a razor-like object to slash Dunnaway's neck, shoulders and arms.
After the fight, Daniels removed bed linens and other items with Dunnaway's blood on them from the cell.
Meanwhile up at the control tower, Jackson failed to document that the fight was taking place in the Chronological Events" sheet and the "Physical Observation Sheet." In the observation sheet, Jackson is supposed to document what happens in 15-minute increments. Also while the fight was taking place, an inmate, whose name was withheld in the report, testified that he asked the control tower supervisor (Jackson) to allow him to come out of his cell. The inmate says Jackson's response was, "We are handling something down here."
Moreover, investigators noted that Daniels and Jackson switched assignments without notifying supervisors,
The next day, another deputy saw Dunnaway's wounds and let him go to the walk-in clinic.
Daniels did not report the incident and excluded it from the logs he is required to keep as part of his duties, the affidavit states.
Turnquest, charged with aggravated battery, refused to appear in court on Feb. 9. Palm Beach County Jail records show has been detained since 2007 on premeditated first-degree murder and other charges.
Before that, records show he was in state prison from 1995 to early 1997, from late 1997 to 1999, and from 2003 to 2005 on Palm Beach County convictions that included aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and drug sales.
Records show Dunnaway, who is in jail on battery charges, was in state prison from 1991 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003 on charges that included battery on a state employee and battery on a law enforcement officer.
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