Picayune woman beaten in Harrison County jail

Published 1:11 am Sunday, November 23, 2008

A verbal altercation turned physical when a Picayune woman stood up for an older inmate.

The fight appears to have started on Wednesday, according to a press release from Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. That day Angel Case, 41, of Picayune, stood up for another inmate at the jail, said Harrison County Sheriff’s Department investigator Michelle Carbine. Apparently, Latoya Lewis, 25, of Pearlington made a comment to another inmate prompting Case to tell Lewis she should not be talking to her elders in that manner. Lewis and Case are both Hancock County prisoners being held in the Harrison County jail and are both being held on drug related charges.

Carbine said Lewis and the unnamed inmate to whom she had spoken told her that a verbal altercation between the two inmates began at that point. Case was laying in a bunk at the time of the verbal altercation and when she saw the altercation escalating, she stood up. Lewis told Carbine that when Case stood up, she thought Case was coming at her, and the altercation turned physical.

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Lewis allegedly grabbed Case and beat Case’s head against the metal bed frame. Case hit Lewis one time during the altercation, Carbine said. A press release from the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department states that Case suffered facial fractures during the altercation that require surgery.

Carbine said Case has been scheduled for surgery, but she could not say at press time if Case has undergone the surgery. Without the surgery, Case could suffer from the drooping of an eye, deformation of her face and possible blindness.

Pearl River County, among other counties, has an agreement with Hancock County to hold Hancock prisoners after Hurricane Katrina damaged their jail. Pearl River County currently houses Hancock County’s male prisoners, but not the female prisoners. Hancock’s female inmates are not held in Pearl River County because Pearl River County’s Jail does not have space for Hancock’s female inmates, said Pearl River County Jail Administrator Julie Flowers.

Lewis is being held in Harrison County jail for a Hancock County charge of possession of a controlled substance, Carbine said. The press release said due to the altercation she is additionally charged with aggravated assault and has a bond set of $50,000.

Angel Case, 41, of Picayune, is being held in Harrison County for a charge in Hancock County of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, according to Hancock County Sheriff’s Department records. No other charges were pressed against her as a result of the altercation, Carbine said.