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Old 09-07-2004, 09:58 AM
Phil in Paris Phil in Paris is offline
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Default Article: Three inmates, hostage hospitalized after Panhandle jail standoff

Monday September 06, 2004
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) A SWAT team stormed the Bay County Jail on Monday to end an 11-hour hostage standoff, injuring one hostage and two inmates, authorities said. Three other employees were freed.

The injured hostage was a nurse who was accidentally shot twice by the SWAT team in the upper and lower body, said Bay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ruth Sasser.

Sasser said the woman has undergone surgery and was in stable condition.

She said two other inmates who were part of the hostage situation also were shot. Kevin Nix and James Norton were treated and released and put into lockdown at the jail.

Sasser said four inmates Nix, Norton, Kevin Winslett and Matthew Coffin have been identified as involved in the hostage situation.

Officials said Winslett was awaiting sentencing on charges of grand theft and armed robbery; Nix was serving a 14-year sentence for numerous felony charges; Norton, from Alabama, was serving a 30-year sentence for armed burglary, and Coffin was awaiting sentencing on charges of attempted armed robbery with a firearm and escape.

Another inmate, Mark King, was taken to a local hospital for a drug overdose. His connection to incident had not yet been determined, officials said.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokeswoman Lisa Lagergren said 80 inmates have been interviewed so far and more could be identified as taking part in the standoff.

The SWAT team and armed corrections officer surrounded the jail about 9 p.m. CDT Sunday. The officers freed the hostages about 8 a.m. from the third floor where the inmates had barricaded themselves, Sasser said.

Sheriff Frank McKeithen had gone to the third floor Sunday night in an effort to negotiate an end to the standoff. The inmates asked for cigarettes and pizzas.

A jailer who answered the phone on the ground floor during the standoff said everyone there appeared to be fine and that she was aware of the police presence outside.

Jennifer Elmore, an anchor at WJHG-TV, said she received a call around 8:30 p.m. Sunday from a man who said he was holding hostages at the jail.

Elmore said she asked the man why she should believe him, and he put a woman on the phone who said, ``We are nurses at the Bay County Jail and we are being held hostage.''

Elmore said she at first thought the call was a prank because she heard laughter in the background, but the caller said there was laughter ``because we are being nice to them right now.''

The caller said he was upset about health hazards at the jail, Elmore said.

A private company, Corrections Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn., operates the jail under contract with Bay County. All corrections officers and nurses are CCA employees.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Old 09-08-2004, 05:59 PM
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ellipanitz ellipanitz is offline
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The jail here has a bad rep as far as food and medical treatment goes. Having had to resort to day labor in order to live I hear lots of stories from the people I work with about jail conditions. In my opinion the swat team overreacted in ending the situtation with violence. Not enough effort was made towards a peaceful resolution. I hope the nurse recovers and then sues for damages.
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