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MCSO terminates, arrests corrections officer on assault charges

A Hartselle man has been arrested on four felony assault charges and terminated from his position with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.  

Investigators with the MCSO obtained arrest warrants for Jaylend Edward Handley, 26, of Hartselle Oct. 22 after an incident that sent four inmates of the Morgan County Jail to the hospital with respiratory issues. 

Handley allegedly placed an unknown irritant on the cigarettes of several inmates, causing respiratory issues, according to the sheriff’s office.  

Uninvolved members of the corrections staff initiated a medical call and began rendering aid to those affected, according to the MCSO. As a precaution, the inmates were transported to the hospital, treated and released back to the jail. Public information officer Mike Swafford said the four affected inmates have now recovered.  

Handley was charged with four counts of assault in the third degree after turning himself into the Morgan County Jail. He was booked on a $1,200 bond.  

“We will not condone any misconduct by any members of our organization,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said in a statement. “Our corrections staff is charged with the care, custody and control of our inmates. We cannot accept anything less. 

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