Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 9, 2013

Former jailer charged in battery

Young faces two felony counts.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor

Tipton — A former Tipton County correctional officer has been charged with battery of an inmate at the county jail last September.

Jason T. Young, 36, Elwood, was charged Tuesday with Class D felony counts of strangulation and official misconduct and a misdemeanor charge of battery resulting in bodily injury during an alleged attack on inmate Derik Brannum.

Sheriff John Moses said Young was terminated from his position last September following the alleged incident. Moses said Young worked for the department less than a year.

Young was released from the Tipton County jail on his own recognizance, he said.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Todd Uhrick, a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department deputy, the alleged attack took place Sept. 6.

The charging document alleges the lights and televisions were turned off at approximately 11 p.m. Thursday. Brannum told investigators that Thursdays the inmates receive Commissary and the lights and televisions are left on.

Brannum said he told another inmate to call up front and have the lights and televisions turned back on. When the inmate refused, Brannum pushed the intercom button and asked whey the lights and televisions were turned off and reportedly was told correctional officers forgot it was a Thursday.

Brannum said he told his cell-mate to call for the lights and television to be turned back on, using an expletive. Young reportedly asked Brannum if he had something to say to him and Brannum said the comment was directed to his cell-mate.

Allegedly Young then told Brannum to pack his belongs and that he was being moved to a special cell. Brannum complained about being punished and Young allegedly entered the cell, pushed, choked and hit Brannum. Brannum said Young was holding him by the throat and that he was having trouble breathing.

Correctional Officer Brock Phifer told investigators when he entered the special cell, Young and Brannum were engaged in a verbal altercation. Correctional Officer Bill Cline said Young had Brannum pinned against the wall and was chocking the inmate. Cline said he than heard a thud and saw Brannum’s glasses flying across the cell area.

Young and Brannum were separated by Cline and Phifer when Brannum reportedly said he would have Young’s job. Young reportedly went back into the cell and went after Brannum a second time. Young was ordered to leave the cell by Sgt. Jeff Pike and when he left the cell kicked Brannum’s property basket.

Young told investigators he was moving Brannum from his cell for allegedly pushing the emergency button and had disrespected him. When asked why he struck Brannum, Young said he felt threatened, but could not specify what actions threatened him.