MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An inmate is dead after being stabbed by another inmate at 201 Poplar, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident happened at the Criminal Justice Center Thursday morning at around 9:30 a.m., reports state.
The victim was taken to Regional One Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Deion Byrd.
Byrd’s parents spoke with WREG on Thursday afternoon. They say they still have not been notified by any officials at the justice center, only Byrd‘s attorney.
They say Deion was a loving person who made mistakes but did not deserve this.
“Can’t even talk to my son anymore,” Laquita Byrd said.
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Judge Paula Skahan confirmed that Byrd was stabbed in the neck with a shank. She says that she has worked at 201 Poplar for decades and has never seen violence like this.
“He could have lunged at me. He could have attacked me. He could have attacked clerks, all kinds of people in the courtroom. It’s just shocking to me that someone could obtain a shank, and not be checked before coming into the courtroom area. Anybody could have been attacked. I don’t understand how this could happen,” said Judge Skahan.
Jonathan Irvin, a former Shelby County jailer, says this screams negligence.
“Any deputies that were in charge of that inmate from the time he left the floor to the time he got to the tunnel area where all the inmates are held, and locked there until he is ready for court, all of them are responsible. Every one of them,” Irvin said. “He got that far, he was not, he couldn’t have been pat down.”
Byrd’s family doesn’t understand how this could happen under deputies’ watch and security.
“Thinking they should be safe and have the right, even though they committed a crime. [He] shouldn’t have been killed,” said Marcus Byrd.
The Byrd family says this is their second son to be killed in two years, both at 25 years old. They say their next step is justice.
“I just want Justice for my baby, I’m not letting this go. I’m not. I can’t,” said Laquita Byrd.
This remains an ongoing investigation, SCSO says.