Jailer pleads guilty to assaulting inmate

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2006

An ex-Harrison County jailer pleaded guilty Monday to charges of assaulting inmate Jessie Lee Williams Jr., who died two days after the Feb. 4 beating.

Regina Rhodes, during an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Roper, also pleaded guilty to violating Williams’ civil rights and providing false information to cover up the assault.

The jailhouse beating occurred when Williams, 40, was brought to the Harrison County Jail on misdemeanor charges including public drunkenness. Williams’ death two days later was ruled a homicide.

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Currently a civil lawsuit, brought by Williams’ family, is on hold pending the resolution of criminal issues.

Rhodes will be sentenced Oct. 16 before Judge Louis Guirola.