NATIONAL NEWS

Guard kills Georgia inmate at hospital after he overpowered other officer, investigators say

Apr 24, 2024, 9:23 AM

SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prison guard shot and killed a prisoner she had helped escort to a hospital for treatment after he snatched another guard’s pepper spray and used it to overpower him, authorities said Wednesday.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said its agents are investigating the late Tuesday shooting at Washington County Regional Hospital in Sandersville, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of Macon. The agency typically handles cases involving shootings by Georgia law enforcement officers.

Two corrections officers from Washington State Prison took 31-year-old Jacob Henson to the hospital after he was stabbed by a fellow prisoner during a fight, the GBI said in a news release.

The bureau said its preliminary investigation indicated that Henson began fighting with one of the guards at the hospital, grabbed a cannister of pepper spray from the officer and used it to subdue him. The inmate began advancing toward the second guard, still spraying from the cannister, when she shot and killed him, according to the GBI.

The GBI didn’t say what sparked the fight between the inmate and guards. Washington County Sheriff Joel Cochran said it “appeared to be an escape attempt.”

The officer who was doused with pepper spray was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, said Lori Benoit, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Corrections. She said both guards who were involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the GBI investigation. Neither the GBI nor the Corrections Department released the guards’ names.

No one else was injured.

Henson had been serving an eight-year prison sentence since 2019 after he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and several counts of theft in Cherokee County north of Atlanta. Prosecutors said Henson stole motorcycles, ATVs, trucks, a car and a child’s dirt bike during the summer of 2018.

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Guard kills Georgia inmate at hospital after he overpowered other officer, investigators say