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Four arrested in death of Boyd County Jail inmate

December 22, 2018
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Jeremy Mattox

The Herald-Dispatch

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. - The Kentucky State Police Ashland Post has made four arrests in connection with an inmate death that occurred in November at the Boyd County Jail, KSP announced Friday evening.

According to the news release, KSP interviewed five Boyd County Jail deputies who are accused of intentionally abusing Michael Moore, 40, who was found deceased Nov. 29 in the jail’s restraint chair.

Zackary Messer, of Ashland; Brad Roberts, of Westwood, Kentucky; Colton Griffith, of Flatwoods, Kentucky; and Jeremy Mattox, of Grayson, Kentucky, are all charged with first-degree manslaughter. The suspects were jailed at various detention centers. Bond is set for $100,000 cash-only for each.

One indictment was not served due to investigators being unable to locate the fifth deputy jailer, Alicia Beller, of Putnam County, West Virginia.

Moore, who was jailed for public intoxication, had been jailed for 36 hours before his death.

The investigation revealed Moore was highly intoxicated upon arrival at the Boyd County Jail, which led to his confinement in the restraint chair, the release states. An autopsy performed at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort could not rule out criminal activity as a contributing factor in Moore’s death.

During the investigation, KSP learned the five accused allegedly either intentionally abused or knowingly permitted the abuse of Moore, leading to his death.

Jailer Joe Burchett resigned in early December after Moore and another inmate, Charles Shaun Finley, 36, died within four days of each other. Finley had been jailed for three weeks before his death.

Burchett served as jailer for 16 years and was replaced by county jailer-elect William Hensley, who was asked to fill the position a month before his term was to start.

There have been a number of problems at the jail in the past two years, including a riot and escapes. The State Department of Corrections removed dozens of prisoners from the jail earlier this year.

KSP asks that any information on Beller be reported to Post 14 at 606-928-6421.

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