Attorney says client attacked, beaten in jail

The June 27 assault of Jaime Perez may not have been the first time this year an inmate has used a broom handle to beat another inmate at the Curry County jail.

Clovis attorney Marna Trammell said Monday that her client Terry Damron was attacked and beaten in the jail March 26 by another inmate. Trammell said the inmate "with a broom handle … struck Inmate Damron about the head and body" causing "serious physical injury and emotional damage as a result of said beating."

Trammell filed notice of a pending lawsuit on the county June 21, six days before inmate Louis Guerra is accused of attacking Perez with a broom handle.

Perez was treated for injuries at Plains Regional Medical Center and Guerra, convicted in the slaying of Perez's brother, faces felony aggravated battery and intimidation of a state's witness charges in connection with the beating.

Jail Administrator Gerry Billy could not be reached for comment.

County Commissioner Robert Sandoval said he only learned of Damron being attacked a few days ago and he is not pleased because the sheriff's department wasn't notified of the March 26 assault as required by county policy.

Jail staff also didn't inform the sheriff's office of the June 27 assault; staff notified District Attorney Matt Chandler about 15 hours after the assault and Chandler notified the sheriff's office.

On Monday, Undersheriff Wesley Waller confirmed the sheriff's office didn't receive any reports or handle any investigation of an incident March 26 at the jail.

"I am very disappointed by the fact that policies are not being followed," said Sandoval. "I can't understand why policy is not being followed and the sheriff was not notified."

Sandoval said he is disappointed "that information that should be coming to the commission is not getting to the commission," noting that his first notification of the Perez assault was reading about it in the Clovis News Journal.

Sandoval also questioned why inmates have access to broom handles.

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