February 1, 2003 Indianapolis Star article


Officer, inmate stabbed during incident at jail

February 1, 2003
A correctional officer and an inmate were stabbed Friday morning during a scuffle at the Marion County Jail.

Marion County Sheriff's Maj. Dennis May said the scuffle occurred after Darrell Williams, a 36-year-old federal inmate, pulled out a handmade knife and lunged at another prisoner.

Officer Richard Cornell, 38, and another jail officer jumped between the two and tried to disarm Williams, at one point using a pepper spray.

At some point during the struggle, Cornell was stabbed in the upper chest. The officers wrestled Williams to the ground, and during the struggle the inmate was stabbed, too.

May said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening.

Cornell was taken to Methodist Hospital and was released in the afternoon. He was recuperating at home. Williams was taken to Wishard Memorial Hospital. His condition was not immediately available.

Two other crude knives were found on Williams. He faces a preliminary charge of felony battery.

The jail was placed on temporary lockdown while officers investigated. No contraband was found.

May said the stabbings occurred in a cell block as the officers were taking Williams and at least one other inmate to a disciplinary hearing involving some misconduct in the jail.

It is unclear how he came into possession of the weapons or whether he made them himself out of a toothbrush, a plastic eating utensil or other items.

Williams was being held in the jail for the U.S. Marshal's Service.

Acting Deputy Chief U.S. Marshal Richard Burton said Williams was serving a 25-year, 10-month sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute on charges of drug dealing and escape.

Williams was being held in the Marion County Jail while awaiting sentencing on his conviction of possession of contraband by a federal prisoner.

Terry Horne
Indianapolis Star