The Richmond Register

May 18, 2013

Grand jury indicts inmates in jail assault

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Two inmates at the Madison County Detention Center were indicted Wednesday on charges related to the beating of another prisoner.

A Madison grand jury indicted 28-year-old Justin Morgan Howell and 26-year-old Lucas Wayne Shanks on charges of second-degree assault, second-degree escape and second-degree persistent felony offenders.

The indictment alleges that on April 24, Shanks and Howell worked together to assault James Foster, “causing a severe laceration on his head.”

The indictment states that Howell unlocked the door of their cell so Shanks could get out and attack Foster.

Both men are designated persistent felony offenders because Shanks was convicted of felony theft in 2011, and Howell was convicted of second-degree burglary in a 2006 case.

Because of the PFO enhancement, both men face possible sentences of 15 to 30 years in prison, if convicted of assault and escape.

Shanks has been in the detention center since Jan. 8, when he was arrested on a charge of making methamphetamine in his Ballard Drive apartment.

Shanks is scheduled for sentencing in that case July 11.

Howell was brought to the jail Nov. 23 after being arrested on the charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful possession of meth precursors and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Shanks and Howell’s arraignment on the assault and escape charges is June 7 in Madison Circuit Court.

In addition to the assault indictment, Howell and another man, Shelby Noe III, were indicted Wednesday on the charge of first-degree promoting contraband.

The two are accused of possessing and consuming alcohol in the Madison County Detention Center.

Other indictments Wednesday:

• Ronnie K. Johnson, 10 counts of first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of a legend drug.

• Robin Stacy Powell, tampering with physical evidence, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Debra Jo Moore, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, theft of a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a controlled substance.

• Kimberly Lynn Abshear, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

• Jesse Paul Dalton, two counts of flagrant nonsupport.

• Daniel C. May, flagrant nonsupport.

• Matthew K. Tatum, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (second offense).

• Melissa A. Story, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree promoting contraband.

• Daniel R. Philhower Jr., first-degree possession of a controlled substance.

• Justin I. White, Tyler Gibbs, William D. Hill, three counts of first-degree robbery.

• Orville S. Richardson, first-degree fleeing or evading police, second-degree fleeing or evading police, receiving stolen property and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Bradley Douglas and Corey Michael Hayes, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

• Dawn K. Estes (aka Hamilton), second-degree robbery and first-degree persistent felony offender.

• Paul G. Robinson, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a 7-year-old child and a 3-year-old child.

Grand jury indictments do not indicate guilt, only that grand jurors believe the state has enough evidence to proceed with prosecution.