12 arrests made in murder of Tangipahoa inmate
HAMMOND- Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards announced multiple arrests were made in connection to the death of a Tangipahoa Parish Jail inmate that occurred on Jan. 30.
According to Edwards, 40-year-old Tommy Joe Smith of Independence was killed less than 12 hours after being booked into the jail on a probation violation. He says Smith had been left in a dorm room with 21 other inmates.
After attempting to set up a bunk on the second floor, Smith was met with aggression and forced downstairs. He was again met with aggression and denied a bunk on the first floor.
Smith was on his way to request that he be removed from the dorm by the pod deputy when another inmate abruptly struck him from behind. As Smith turned to defend himself he was attacked by multiple offenders.
The attack, which occurred after lights out, was described by other inmates as a “shark feeding frenzy”.
Within minutes, responding deputies entered the dorm and gained control. They also observed one of Smith’s attackers attempting to facilitate CPR on Smith’s lifeless body.
The jail’s medical staff was notified and quickly responded to render aid.
Smith died from his injuries shortly afterward.
As a result, 12 offenders were arrested for the attack, one of them being a juvenile offender. 11 of the offenders are charged with Second degree murder and obstruction of justice, two of the 11 were additionally charged with second degree robbery for stealing Smith’s shoes while he was being attacked. The juvenile, who is currently being held on unrelated homicide charges, was additionally charged with principal to second to degree murder.
The following offenders are charged in this case:
20-year-old Herman Bagent, 30-year-old Brent Collins, 22-year-old Lionel Brister, 27-year-old Randall Holmes, 23-year-old James Milton, 18-year-old Eric Newman, 22-year-old William Patterson, 22-year-old Tyquan Davis, 19-year-old Antwon Seymore, 38-year-old Ronald Faulkner, 28-year-old Travis Robertson, and one juvenile. Faulkner and Robertson were among the group who were accused of stealing the victim’s shoes during the attack and were charged with second degree robbery.