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KY- Six Inmates Appear Before A Judge

9-2-2008 Kentucky:

Six of the ten Floyd County inmates accused of beating another inmate nearly to death went before a judge this afternoon.

The six say they did not participate in the alleged beating that left Terry Fisher unconscious and paralyzed, but police disagree.

Police say the inmates are pointing fingers at each other.

Detectives took the stand Tuesday and say none of the inmates in court admitted to hitting Terry Fisher, but say each one accuses the others of beating Fisher.

The detective who interviewed the inmates thinks they all did it together.

The six in court are all charged with first degree assault.

Police say the group labeled Fisher a child molester and picked on him for three days before beating him unconscious.

However, attorneys for two of the men, say their clients did not participate in the attack.

“He does not have a criminal history that depicts any violence in his nature. Mr. Jervis will maintain his innocence and will defend this case as long as he has to,” Kent Varney said.

“Newsome has no history of violence. He was a social worker who unfortunately had a drug and alcohol problem, but has more of a history of helping people,” Gerald DeRossett said.

The judge sent the six cases to the grand jury and set their bond at $50,000 cash.

Four other inmates are also charged. They're expected to be in court later this month.

Terry Fisher remains in very serous condition at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.

Those appearing in court on Tuesday were:
• Chris Newsome
• Kevin Woods
• Matthew Ritchie
• Michael Rowland
• Ivan Gunnels
• Stephen Jervis

..News Source.. by Angela Sparkman

KY- Family Defends Man Nearly Killed In Jail Beating

8-29-2008 Kentucky:

He admitted being guilty of a terrible crime, but the family of a man beaten nearly to death says he should have received his punishment in a courtroom, not at the hands of inmates in jail.

Terry Fisher remains unresponsive in the hospital after police say he was attacked by 10 inmates. He plead guilty to sexually abusing a child earlier this month.

Jail officials say when they found 44-year old Fisher lying in his cell they thought he'd had a seizure. Then they realized he'd been beaten. His family says even though he pleaded guilty, he didn't deserve this punishment.

"Just to see him... The way he is now... Tears me to pieces," explains Fisher's older sister, Marilyn Johnson.

Even though he pleaded guilty to unlawful transaction with a minor and third degree sexual abuse charges, her younger brother should have been dealt with in court.

"It shouldn't have happened. He didn't deserve this."

"I don't think inmates should be allowed to decide who they whip and who they don't. Even if they're behind bars--- they still have rights," explained Tina Green, Fisher's niece.

She describes her uncle is a good, humble person who shouldn't have been charged with those crimes.

"I'd stake my life he didn't do it. I trust him completely with my children."

Green says right now Fisher is unresponsive and still bleeding from his brain. She says doctors at Cabell Hospital say he ma never make a full recovery.

"We pretty much know we'll never get our Terry back.... The jail time they would have given him is nothing compared to this. They've given him a life sentence. They've given us one. For the rest of our lives we'll have to take care of him."

Jailer Roger Webb says Fisher was separated from the general jail population and placed in an area with inmates charged with similar crimes.

Three of the ten inmates charged with beating Fisher have not been arrested because they were released from the Floyd County Detention Center before charges were filed. ..News Source.. by WKYT

KY- Police Investigating Assault Of Inmate

8-28-2008 Kentucky:

An Eastern Kentucky inmate is in the hospital after police say he was nearly beaten to death in jail.

Ten inmates are accused of throwing the kicks and punches. It happened in the Floyd County Detention Center earlier this month. Thursday, the inmates were all charged with assault.

Police say 55 year old Terry Fisher is in very serious condition in Cabell-Huntington Hospital in West Virginia, but he's non-responsive and may not survive. Officers say he was in jail, accused of molesting a child, and investigators say that's no excuse for the attack.

Investigators believe ten inmates began hazing accused child molester, Terry Fisher, on his first day in jail. Three days later, police say it turned into major fighting.

"Some of the inmates went into a rage and Mr. Fisher was the target," said Det. Steve Little with the Prestonsburg Police Department.

He says the inmates beat Fisher almost to death, including stomping his head into the concrete floor.

"I am very upset that this happened," said Floyd County Jailer Roger Webb.

Jailer Webb says it happened in less than 30 minutes, during a shift change. He says officers did their midnight walk-through and Fisher was fine. At the 12:30 check, he was bloody and unconscious.

"You know, on occasions, tempers do flare, but this was beyond a flared temper," Webb said.

Webb says the cell is actually where he puts non-violent inmates. The ten accused are in jail on mostly theft or drug possession charges.

"Really, in this dorm, this should have never happened. Sometimes you can get one bad apple stirring up the dorm and cause a lot of serious problems," Webb said.

Police say one of the men involved is former social worker, Chris Newsome. He and six others, Ivan Gunnels, Matthew Ritchie, Stephen Jervis, Michael Rowland, Kevin Lee Woods and Larry Adkins are all accused of throwing the worst punches and are charged with first degree assault. David Johnson, Ronald Spurlock, and Keith Page are charged with fourth degree assault.
Police are still investigating how the hazing got out of hand.

"It is obvious to me, that Mr. Fisher was very scared to speak up about his safety," Det. Little said.

"Godspeed that he gets well," Webb said.

Police say the ten accused won't be getting out anytime soon.

Six of the inmates were arraigned Thursday afternoon. Keith Paige pleaded guilty. Chris Newsome, Matthew Ritchie, Stephen Jervis, Michael Rowland, and Kevin Lee Woods pleaded not guilty.

Jailers say three others were in the cell, but they did not participate in the alleged beating. ..News Source.. by Angela Sparkman

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