PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A Palm Beach County Jail deputy is behind bars after he was accused of encouraging violence between two high-risk inmates and then trying to cover it up, authorities said.
Derrick Daniels, 38, was arrested Wednesday on charges of official misconduct, aggravated battery, culpable negligence and tampering with physical evidence, according to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.
The arrest follows the investigation of a Dec.12 fight between two inmates in solitary confinement at the main jail, at 3228 Gun Club Road in suburban West Palm Beach, according to a Sheriff's Office arrest report.
Inmate Lajuane Dunnaway, 36, told Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office investigators that another inmate, Taurus Turnquest, threatened to kill him several times in the days leading up to the attack, the report said.
Daniels, the deputy on duty at the time, allegedly let Turnquest leave his cell and go into Dunnaway's, locking them both inside.
During the struggle, Turnquest reportedly grabbed a pencil and began stabbing Dunnaway in the head and back. He then pulled a razor-sharp object from his waistband and began slashing Dunnaway in the neck, shoulders and arms.
At that point, Daniels opened the cell and the two men continued fighting in the hallway. Dunnaway was bleeding heavily once the pair was separated, and Daniels reportedly told him to take a shower.
While in the shower, Daniels took the clothing and bed sheets out of Dunnaway's cell and gave him new ones. He gave the inmate alcohol and bandages instead of letting him get medical treatment.
Dunnaway was able to get medical help when Daniels left for the day and another deputy saw his wounds.
Two days later, Dunnaway told Sheriff's Office investigators what happened. They found blood splattered in his cell and spoke to an inmate who witnessed the fight while on the phone. They listened to a recording of the call and hear the yelling in the background.
The fight was never recorded in a log that jail deputies are required to keep.
Daniels had been working as a jail deputy for the Sheriff's Office since 1994, according to Sheriff's spokesman Eric Davis. On Wednesday, he was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.
Later in the day he appeared in court and was ordered held on a $96,000 bond amount.
The deputy has no previous criminal history in Florida, state records show.
Turnquest was also arrested in the incident, on a charge of aggravated battery.
Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.
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