Bladen county attorney: SBI won’t be called to investigate jail beating case

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Submitted: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 3:36am
Updated: Tue, 02/05/2013 - 10:00pm

ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Bladen county commissioners met for the first time Monday night since an inmate was beaten in the county jail.

Commissioners said the recent case of violence would not be added to the agenda but would be discussed in a private session. County Attorney Leslie Johnson says the Sheriff’s Office is still gathering details as to what led to several inmates severely beating fellow inmate Joshua Ward. “It’s not a hate crime that the SBI is involved in. The sheriff’s department and the sheriff himself are very sincerely doing everything they can do to make sure this does not happen again.”

Joshua Ward, 30, was arrested almost two weeks ago for failure to appear on a traffic infraction. Within two hours of being behind bars, at least four other inmates beat him so severely, he was hospitalized in critical condition. He suffered broken ribs, two black eyes, gashes to his face and a blood clot between his brain and skull.

Just days later, former Bladen County Jailer Marcus Hubbard contacted WWAY. In an exclusive interview, Hubbard told WWAY’s Cacky Catlett he witnessed extreme violence among inmates and his reports of the violence yielded no further action. He also said he observed jailers being lax on the job. “They sleep on the job. I even complained about that but that fell on deaf ears,” Hubbard said.

Johnson says fights are to be expected. “Nobody wants anybody to get injured in jail,” Johnson said. “It’s not a pleasant thing at any time but fights happen all the time. This isn’t the first one across the state.”

The sheriff’s office is still conducting an internal investigation.

“Let it run its course. Just give us an opportunity. It’s just been two weeks,” Johnson said.


  • Guest1946 says:

    When a suspect is in custody or confined, authorities are solely responsible for the safety and well-being of the prisoner. When he/she is injured through no fault of their own, someone should pay. Why does the SBI have to be “called”? Why do they not respond to such situations as a matter of protocol and normal procedure? This will not be swept under the rug, as too many have read about it. Let the lawsuits begin……..

  • johnP says:

    I wonder how long it would have taken for them to respond if that would have been an officer, instead of an inmate. Just asking.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    - County Attorney Johnson: “Let it run its course. Just give us an opportunity. It’s just been two weeks.”

    – Translation: Sure, two weeks have gone by and absolutely nothing has been done but just give us an opportunity and we’ll “let it run its course” until, hopefully, everyone forgets about it.

  • johnP says:

    Any time you here “in-house” investigation, that means the people at the top know that something went wrong and they want to figure out a way to cover it up and by stalling the public for months, they are hoping something bigger and better will come up in the news so people wont be as mad and outraged at the outcome of their investigation. Lets get real people nothing is going to change in Bladen County. I feel sorry for the man who was beaten.

  • Guestyeahright says:

    Sounds like just somebody just doesn’t want to admit that their ‘in house’ employees weren’t doing their job. Trying to figure out a way to sweep this one under the rug. I think the SBI SHOULD be brought in to investigate. Bladen county doesn’t want anyone to know the truth..maybe one of those ‘you scratch my back..I’ll scratch yours’ situations. Someone needs to be brought in from outside of the county in order to get things straitened out.

  • Disgusted Guest says:


    I agree with your statement. It’s so frustrating living in a primitive county full of uneducated, on-a-government-disability-check do-nothings. (Actually they do something–they litter the landscape.)

    We do not have enough concerned citizens to demand change, so things will stay as they are.

    Bladen, the Mother County, is a rural slum governed by hicks.

  • Guest00001 says:

    Sue, Joshua, sue the county of Bladen.

  • Citizen of the Republic says:

    “County Attorney Leslie Johnson says the Sheriff’s Office is still gathering details”.

    ” “It’s not a hate crime that the SBI is involved in.”

    If the investigation is still gathering details, how can anyone be sure that it’s not a hate crime.
    This individual that was beaten is supposed to be in the care of the state or county system, and it’s someone’s job to make sure this doesn’t happen.

    Fist fights are sure to occur. The inmates are there for a reason. But they have a right to safety and security against 4,5,6, people attacking and almost killing them.

    I’m sure the Sheriff and jail personnel are upstanding people, however, when investigating possible problems, the SBI is there for an impartial determination of facts.

    “”Let it run its course. Just give us an opportunity. It’s just been two weeks,” Johnson said.”

    Two weeks is a long time, when your in the hospital beaten almost into a coma.

    I’m sure the person would want a speedy and through look by an agency to handle an investigation independent of local officials.

  • Guest20-20 says:

    There is a fox in the hen house, so who do we call to investigate? A local fox!!!!! Get the SBI in there to get this mess cleaned up and the appropriate sheriff department people canned.

  • Guesttoday says:

    This is what they call “sweeping it under the rug”! Give it time so folks forget about it… I feel like I’m watching and old movie taking place in the deep south in the 1960’s. Shameful.

  • Guest20562 says:

    Bladen County And Brunswick County is all the same. Jon David Is The DA in Both Counties Nothing is done in either county to drunk drivers and repeat offenders. Trials are still solved in the back room. Maybe one day Brunswick And Bladen Counties will get a real DA and someone who is not afraid to up hold the law.

  • Guestwtfd says:

    Welcome to the South!

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