Inmate Attack Leaves Georgia Correctional Officer Dead

( – Georgia’s Department of Corrections announced on October 1 that one of its officers was killed and an inmate was severely injured, following an attack by another prisoner. According to a press release from authorities, officer Robert Clark was escorting two prisoners from the Smith State Prison’s dining hall when he was suddenly assaulted by another one during morning hours.

The statement pointed out that the suspect, who was identified as Layton Lester, reportedly used a homemade weapon during the attack. As reported by the Associated Press, while another inmate named Marko Willingham tried to interview, he was also brutally attacked.

While both injured individuals were immediately transported to the prison’s hospital for urgent medical attention, the 42-year-old officer didn’t survive. The other inmate suffered severe injuries from the attack, but these were non-life threatening. He is currently hospitalized in a stable condition.

Different reports showed that Clark started to work at the Smith State Prison in April 2023. The Department of Corrections noted that the suspect accused of committing the attack against Clark and Willingham will face charges for the assault that resulted in the death of the officer, in addition to the assault against the other inmate.

As reported by ABC News, Lester currently serving a life sentence for a homicide and an armed robbery he committed in Tift County back in 2007. Prison records show that Willingham is also a convicted murderer, and has been in the state system as an inmate since 2003, following his aggravated assault and felony murder convictions in Walton County.

In a statement, Department of Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver said that this government agency is devastated and “mourning the loss” of Clark, who was one of the most beloved officers. He also said everyone at the agency wants to express their “deepest condolences” to his friends and family and pointed out they will be fully supported as they “navigate this tragedy” in the days to come.

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