Inmates charged in jail fight recorded on video

Published 9:59 am Friday, December 29, 2017

Three inmates involved in a fight that forced a cellblock at the Warren County Jail to be locked down Wednesday afternoon were formally charged with assault Friday morning.

Gerald Vaughn, 39, was charged with assault and is being held at the Warren County Jail awaiting transport to the state penitentiary on an October 2016 conviction for sale of cocaine.

Anfernie Rashad Chiplin, 19, is charged with assault and possession of contraband and is being held at the Warren County Jail awaiting trial for a July arrest for armed carjacking and conspiracy to commit a crime.

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John Shelby, 26, is charged with assault and is being held at the Warren County Jail awaiting trial for a July arrest for convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The three are charged with assaulting Denzell Watts, who is accused of shooting five people in a Christmas Eve shooting at L.D.’s Lounge in downtown Vicksburg. Pace confirmed Friday that Watts was the victim of the assault and that he was treated for minor injuries at the Merit Health River Region emergency room Wednesday and then returned to custody at the jail.

“From all indications at this time, this stemmed from an ongoing issue that had nothing to do with anything that took place in the jail,” Pace said. “This was something that had taken place out in the community some of which involved activities in another county. It didn’t even have anything to do with Warren County. He was placed in the cell on the shooting charge, but apparently there was a preexisting issue that led to this assault.”

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said the investigation into the fight is ongoing and he won’t rule out the possibility of additional charges being filed in the case.

The fight occurred about 4 p.m. Wednesday in an upstairs cellblock in the jail and was filmed on a cell phone smuggled into the jail and then sent out through social media, Pace said. Chiplin is charged with possession of contraband for possessing the cellphone used to film the assault.

Watt’s mom Ora Bishop said she was able to talk to her son Wednesday evening after he was returned to the jail from the emergency room.

“My son is messed up. He basically doesn’t know who he is. He was crying to me last night saying ‘Momma get me out of here,’” Ora Bishop said. “He said he was asleep and when he woke up the only thing he noticed is he was in the shower. They did that deliberate and my son’s got three gashes over the left eye.”

Pace said Watts is currently being housed separately from the rest of the jail population and Vaughn, Chiplin and Shelby are being held in lockdown.

“The three that were charged today are on lockdown, but they are actually in generally population just on lockdown,” Pace said. “We are very limited as to how we can separate people because of the style and overcrowding of the jail. They are on lockdown.”