4 Officers, 1 Inmate Charged After Investigation

Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 11:56:14-05

Indictments have obtained on five people allegedly connected to the mistreatment of inmates in Wartburg.

Special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said the alleged mistreatment took place at the Morgan County Jail in two separate cases.

In the first beginning November 24, 2015, agents investigated an allegation of official misconduct by correction officers at the jail.

An inmate’s family accused officers of encouraging the assault of an inmate on November 21 in front of correction officers who were accused of not intervening.

Indictments were returned Monday charging 31-year-old Officer Denny Hughett with two counts of official misconduct and one count of coercion of a witness. Hughett turned himself in and was booked into the Roane County Jail on a $3,000 bond.

An inmate, identified as 39-year-old Samuel Jennings, was also charged with aggravated assault. Authorities said Jennings was being held in the Sequatchie County Jail on unrelated charges where he was notified of the assault charge.

Agents said in the second case they investigated allegations of assault on an inmate after an incident that allegedly happened December 12, 2015.

In that case, three correction officers allegedly assault an inmate while improperly attempting to restrain him inside the jail.

Officer Joe D. Shoffner, Jr., age 43, was charged with one count of official misconduct and one count of assault. Two other officers, identified as 20-year-old Garren Austin Luke Cooper and 22-year-old Michael Alan Lloyd, were also charged with assault.

All three officers were lodged in the Roane County Jail.