Time not well served: Former Marshall County inmate facing charges for damaging jail cell

Sierra Rains

Following an internal investigation at the Marshall County Jail, a former inmate is facing charges for heavily damaging a jail cell.

Towards the end of December, 2019, Marshall County Sheriff Danny Cryer said James Caleb Johnson, 32, of Madill was serving time for drug-related charges.

After being denied an early release for the holidays on Dec. 23 Johnson allegedly became “enraged” and began screaming and slamming things around the room.

“All of our jail is monitored by video and our detention officers that are on site heard him screaming and checked him by video and then they had to go into the cell and calm him down to get him out of the cell,” Cryer said.

Before the detention officers arrived, Johnson allegedly removed the mattress from his bunk and began ramming the metal bunk against the walls, doors and window inside the jail cell.

After moving Johnson to another cell, detention officers observed deep gouges and dents on the inside of the cell door, deep scratches to the glass on the inside of the door and chips off the brick on the inside of the walls, Cryer said.

The sink, towel rack and toilet were also damaged. “He was throwing a fit because he wanted out — he wanted an early release so that he could be home for Christmas,” Cryer said.

Cryer said the estimated total of damage is still being assessed. Although officers reportedly knew Johnson had damaged the cell, an internal investigation had to be completed before charges could be filed and Johnson was released four days after the incident.

“We had to pull the video and we had to get statements from each detention officer and we had to do the internal investigation of why it took so long to respond,” Cryer said. “It really didn’t take that long, but those are still questions we have to do here at the jail to build a proper case to submit to the district attorney.”

Charges for injuring a public building were formally filed against Johnson on Feb. 12. “We just had the DA file a warrant. We got it on video and I think that will go a long way in the prosecution of this case,” Cryer said.

Cryer said the Marshall County Jail is still relatively new and the sheriff’s office will not tolerate individuals destroying any county owned property.

“The Marshall County Jail belongs to the tax payers of this county and anyone who attempts to injure or destroy it should be held accountable for their actions.”