At least seven different correctional officers have been injured by inmates since March 6 at Stillwater and Oak Park Heights prisons. Now, the Washington County Attorney’s Office has lodged a first-degree assault charge against an inmate for punching a sergeant in the face on Jan. 15, leaving her blind in one eye.
Thirty-six-year-old inmate Dominique Antoine Jefferson is serving a 25-year sentence at the Oak Park Heights prison for aiding and abetting a second-degree murder in 2005, when he was just 17 years old.
Around 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 15, he requested to speak with crisis intervention. The sergeant told Jefferson that she was a member of the crisis intervention team, but he said he did not want to speak with her. He was told to return to his cell, but he refused and placed a plastic mouthguard in his mouth.
“Ring the bell,” he stated. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
As the sergeant reached for her radio to call for backup, Jefferson said, “If you tone that, I’m gonna bust you in the mouth.” Before she could react, he allegedly punched her in the eye, sending her to the ground.
Other officers came and restrained him. “I ain’t done yet. When I get out of seg I’m hitting all of you on me now,” Jefferson reportedly said. “I’ll do the same to every one and each of y’all. I’ll remember y’all when I come out.”
The sergeant was transported to Regions Hospital with significant damage to her eye and numerous facial fractures.
Despite multiple surgeries over the past few months, she sustained permanent damage to her right eye. The retina detached, resulting in permanent loss of vision in that eye. The facial fractures reportedly require at least four more surgeries.
If Jefferson is found guilty of first-degree assault, he could be sentenced to an additional 25 years.
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