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Sunday, October 26, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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Both inmates involved in fatal fight identified

Last Modified: Monday, July 29, 2013 5:52 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A Calcasieu Correctional Center inmate died Saturday after a fight with another inmate, authorities said.

Damon Lee Jones, 35, of Port Arthur, Texas, died Saturday morning after a “brief altercation” with Shahron Anthony Prater, 40, Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said.SClBMancuso said Jones is believed to have been the instigator. According to witness accounts, Jones picked up a mop bucket and Prater punched him “defending himself,” Mancuso said.

The punch appeared to have knocked out Jones, who then hit his head, Mancuso said.

The fight happened around 3:30 p.m. Friday and Jones died around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, the Sheriff said.

Mancuso said there were several witnesses to the fight and about 35 statements were taken. There was no video of the incident, he said.

“The stories were all consistent,” he said.

Mancuso declined to say what started the incident.

Mancuso said jail authorities initially believed Jones was having a seizure and transported him to a local hospital, then to a Lafayette hospital, where he died.

No charges have been filed, he said.

Prater could face charges of manslaughter or negligent homicide, Mancuso said.

The investigation will be turned over the District Attorney’s Office to be reviewed, he said.

Mancuso said it is the only time an inmate has been killed at CCC since he has been sheriff.

“Very seldom do we have incidents like this happen, nor do we ever want it to happen, but keep in mind it is a jail full of inmates and none of them want to be there,” Mancuso said.

Prater has been jailed for more than a month on charges of resisting an officer and contempt of court.

Jones was in jail for criminal mischief, illegal possession of stolen things over $500, contempt of court and a detainer from Texas.

Prater and Jones were housed on the same cell block based on their past criminal histories, Mancuso said.

“Both of these two gentlemen have very similar criminal histories, so I do feel like he was properly classified,” Mancuso said. “But let’s put this in perspective. We have 1,300 inmates. None of them want to be there. They’ve all committed some acts of criminal activity, some of them violent, some of them thefts, drugs, whatever. I feel like we do a really good job of keeping violence within the jail, obviously not to none, but to a minimum.”

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