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10 charged in beating of Floyd inmate

Police have charged 10 Floyd County inmates — including a former social worker — with severely beating an inmate who pleaded guilty early this month to sexually abusing a minor.

Terry Fisher, 44, is unresponsive and bleeding from his brain at Cabell Huntington Hospital in West Virginia, where he has been since the beating more than two weeks ago, said Prestonsburg Police Detective Steve Little, who is investigating the incident.

Jail officials thought Fisher, of Wheelwright, was having a seizure when they found him lying in his cell just after midnight on Aug. 10, Little said. When they went to help him, however, they realized he had been beaten.

Little said inmates attacked Fisher because he was charged with sexual abuse of a minor. Fisher pleaded guilty on Aug. 5 to third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and third-degree sexual abuse, according to court records. The age of the minor wasn't immediately available.

Inmates attacked Fisher with their hands and feet, Little said.

Jailer Roger Webb said Fisher was separated from the typical jail population and placed in an area of the jail with inmates who are charged with similar crimes. However, the jail also places informants and other inmates charged with abuse in that area of the jail.

Fisher has a feeding tube and a tracheostomy tube, which creates a direct airway opening through the neck into the windpipe, Little said.

Charged with first-degree assault are: Ivan Gunnels of Floyd County; Matthew Ritchie of Garrett; Stephen Jervis of Endicott; Michael Rolan and Kevin L. Woods of Allen; Larry T. Adkins II of Louisville, and Christopher Newsome of Harold.

Newsome was a social worker in Floyd County before he was arrested for fraudulent use of credit cards, Little said.

First-degree assault is a Class B felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in jail.

Charged with fourth-degree assault are: David L. Johnson of Wayland; Ronald E. Spurlock of Waverly, Ohio, and Kenneth J. Paige of McDowell.

Paige, Woods, Rolan, Jervis, Newsome and Ritchie were arraigned in Floyd District Court Thursday. Paige entered a guilty plea and will be sentenced on Sept. 2. The remaining five pleaded not guilty. A preliminary hearing will be held on Sept. 2 at 1:30 p.m.

Police have not yet arrested Johnson, Spurlock, Gunnels and Adkins. They were released from jail before charges were filed.