ST. LOUIS (CN) – The former head of the Washington County jail was indicted on federal charges of assaulting inmates and coercing a violent inmate to assault others. The man’s daughter, a jail officer, described her father’s actions in her own plea agreement.
Vernon G. Wilson is charged with felony civil rights violations and making false statements to the FBI.
Wilson, 57, of Potosi, Mo., allegedly slapped two inmates, causing their heads to hit a concrete wall, and put inmates into a cell block with a dangerous inmate, knowing that assaults were likely to take place.
His actions directly led to physical injuries to four inmates, at least one of whom was hospitalized, prosecutors said.
Valeria Wilson Jackson, Wilson’s daughter and a former officer at the jail, pleaded guilty last week to obstructing justice.
Jackson said her father rewarded the dangerous inmate with cigarettes. In her plea agreement, she also admitted she altered jail documents to cover up her father’s actions.
Wilson Jackson said that putting inmates who complained or angered jail workers in the “rough” tank with violent inmates was a practice when Wilson ran the jail in 2005, and that cooperative inmates were put in “soft” cell blocks.
Washington County is 75 miles southwest of St. Louis.