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Family 'destroyed' by killing of Tangipahoa Parish jail inmate

2-8-2017 Louisiana:

A niece of a Tangipahoa Parish jail inmate who died after being attacked by 11 other detainees said Wednesday (Feb. 8) her family has been "destroyed" by his killing. She questioned why her uncle, a sex offender, was placed in the lockup's general population instead of an isolation unit.

Karly Varnado of Hammond said she and other relatives wanted to see the faces of those responsible for killing Tommy Joe Smith, 40, of Independence. But they were sickened when the Sheriff's Office released photos of the suspects, she said.

"They were kids," Varnado said. "He got murdered by 11 inmates who were way younger than him.

"Our family is absolutely destroyed."

Authorities said 11 inmates, ages 18 to 38, and one juvenile younger than 17 have been booked in an attack that other inmates described to investigators as a "shark feeding frenzy." The assault occurred shortly after Smith was booked Jan. 30 into the jail in Amite.

Man convicted of molesting girl, 6, dies during appeal

9-22-2016 Georgia:

A life sentence became a death sentence for 64-year-old Robert “Buddy” Turner.

The Columbus man who maintained his innocence after he was sentenced to life for aggravated child molestation two years ago has died in state custody.

A sister testifying at his sentencing on Jan. 14, 2015, said she feared he would not survive an extended prison sentence. A brother-in-law told Judge William Rumer the case had turned the former construction worker into "an aging, frail, broken man.”

Defense attorneys said Turner’s health declined precipitously in prison, where he did not get the medical care he needed.

On Oct. 20, 2016, authorities brought Turner to Columbus for an Oct. 26 court hearing. As his health worsened, medical workers at the Muscogee County Jail had Turner taken to Columbus’ Midtown Medical Center, which later transferred him to a hospital in Atlanta.

Man shot in standoff with Effingham County deputies was sex offender

2-1-17 Georgia:

The man killed last week during a standoff with two Effingham County Sheriff’s Office deputies and one deputy from Bulloch County was a registered sex offender, and had been jailed in 2014 for attacking Effingham deputies during a routine compliance check.

Gary M. Wigley of Highway 119 North in southeast Bulloch County, was convicted in 1988 on charges of child molestation and cruelty to a child, according to sex offender registry records.

Wigley, 52, was scheduled to appear in Effingham County Superior Court Jan. 9, before Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Judge WiIliam Woodrum Jr., regarding yet another, more recent case, where he was charged with false imprisonment, obstruction, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and simple assault, according to Woodrum’s criminal bench trail calendar.