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Man put in cell with, attacks suspect charged with trying to kill him

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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The past of two Bladen County men found them squaring off behind bars yesterday.

Eric Bennett, 27, was arrested and charged with attempted murder back in February. Yesterday one of his alleged victims wound up in his jail cell.

Bladen County Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Rodney Hester says the jailer was not aware of the history between Bennett and Shawn Melvin, 39, and had no idea things would get so violent.

Deputies arrested Melvin yesterday for failure to appear in court, failure to pay child support and driving with a revoked license.

The jailer said when he put Melvin in the cell, Melvin attacked Bennett.

Capt. Hester says they asked Melvin when he was book if had any problems with any of the other inmates.

"Elizabethtown Police Department investigated the original case back in February," Hester said. "Mr. Melvin was asked if he had anyone in the jail that he would not want to be in the same cell with, and he answered no to that question."

Bennett was taken to the hospital, where was treated for a laceration on his head from the fight.

Melvin is charged with assault. Hester says he bonded out of jail.

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