CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A corrections officer in Lebanon was found guilty of two counts of felonious assault for assaulting an inmate, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said.
The jury convicted 52-year-old John Hinkle of knowingly causing serious physical harm to another and for knowingly causing physical harm to another by means of a deadly weapon.
Fornshell said on Sept. 26, 2018, Hinkle used a PR-24 baton and hit Malcolm Cox in the face while the inmate was kneeling and handcuffed behind his back.
The prosecutor says Cox and other inmates were handcuffed and being moved in a hallway inside the institution when they began kicking and spitting on each other. That’s when officers stepped in to stop the incident.
Corrections officers were able to diffuse the situation and Cox was becoming compliant, Fornshell says, when Hinkle came from an area nearby with his baton.
He was still handcuffed and in a crouching position on his knees when Hinkle approached him from behind, took a two-handed ‘baseball’ swing at Cox’s head, and broke his jaw, causing lacerations.
Cox suffered a broken jaw which required surgery and required his jaw to be wired shut for six weeks, according to Fornshell.
“The corrections officers in our state and our country face verbal and physical abuse from inmates on an almost daily basis. They are required to maintain order when inmates create chaos. The overwhelming majority of these corrections officers do their jobs in an extraordinarily professional manner. But despite the challenging environment in which they work, they are not above the law. They cannot use deadly force against an inmate when it is not justified,” Fornshell said.
Fornshell released video of the assault Wednesday morning on his Twitter account.