No Indictments in Case of Phony Electric Chairs At Jail
Oct. 11, 1986
HOUSTON (AP) _ A grand jury has declined to issue any indictments in the case of two fake electric chairs built as a joke by Harris County Jail deputies, a prosecutor says.
''We simply haven't found any inmates who are complaining about it,'' said prosecutor Don Smyth.
The testimony of three inmates was presented to the grand jury, which dropped its investigation last week.
In May and June, deputy sheriffs created non-working ''electric chairs,'' officials said.
Chief Deputy Bob Duncan characterized the incidents as ''horseplay,'' adding that the deputies involved were reprimanded. He said he does not condone such antics.
The first electric chair was made of telephone wires wrapped around the arms of a chair and a homemade headset. It was built in a closet on the jail's fifth floor, officials said.
The second chair, built in an office on the 10th floor, had a battery charger attaching positive and negative clamps on the chair's arms. Inmates were dared to sit in it, and at least one did.
''It's certainly in bad taste, but they were just clowning around on a Sunday afternoon,'' Smyth said.