Investigators: Madison County Deputy Attacked by Inmate

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JACKSON, Tenn.- A Madison County correctional officer has been released from the hospital after being attacked by an inmate late Tuesday morning. The attack happened at the Criminal Justice Complex just after noon. Investigators said corrections Deputy Daniel Birdwell, 27, was brutally beaten by inmate Tray Chaney, 20, who is considered high risk. “He had some injuries to his face, a swollen lip and other injuries around his face but they were not specific as to what those injuries were,” said Lt. Jerry Elston, Madison County Sheriff’s Dept. Investigators said Deputy Birdwell was trying to get something from Chaney’s cell when Chaney attacked Birdwell and hit him with closed fists. Deputies would not say what Birdwell was getting. Some residents said they are now questioning if the safety procedures inside of the jail are enough. “If he was going in there to a high risk inmate he should have been with another guard and it should have been properly handled in the right way,” said resident Marketta Haynes. “He shouldn’t have went in there opened the gate by himself.” Investigators said during the struggle, Deputy Birdwell was able to escape and secure the cell block before calling for help. Officials said Chaney is jailed on a charge of first degree murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend Daphne Kenner back in 2011on Old Hickory Blvd. Deputy Birdwell was treated for injuries to his head and upper body and is now recovering at home. Records show he has been with the Madison County Sheriff’s Dept. since January of 2013. At this point it’s unclear how long Birdwell will be off the job. “Anything can happen at any given time, it takes a very strong person to get in here and do that so my condolences are out to the guards family,” said Haynes. Officials said for now Chaney has been separated from other inmates, new charges against him are anticipated to be filed pending the outcome of the investigation. Deputies are conducting a full investigation to determine how and why the attack happened, they said they will also be looking to see if any changes should be made to prevent any attacks from happening in the future. “Any place in this job including corrections, there are inherent risks at dealing with prisoners. This is one of those situations that occurred where we are going to have to see why it occurred and what we can do to prevent it from occurring again,” said Lt. Elston.

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