Jayvon Hatchett — the 19-year-old black man who allegedly stabbed a white AutoZone worker at random late last month because he "felt compelled" to after watching videos of police shootings online — is now suspected of beating his white cellmate to death.
What are the details?
According to WRBL-TV, Muscogee County Jail inmate Eddie Nelson Jr., 39, was found dead in his cell early Saturday morning from an apparent beating.
Assistant coroner Charles Newton concluded that his death was the result of "an apparent beating by another inmate" after noting Nelson "had blunt force trauma around the head and neck."
Nelson was reportedly in jail for violating probation and failing to register as sex offender.
Sheriff Donna Tompkins told the news outlet that Hatchett, who was in jail without bond for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, was a suspect in the beating but would not release any further details.
The incident is still under investigation by the sheriff's office.
In a video interview on WLTZ-TV, Nelson's mother said: "I have a question for the Sheriff. Why? Why did you put my son and that other man in there together? Why? Can you answer me that? I lost a son because of ya'll's negligence."
The family's attorney, Craig Jones, added that "if this mentally imbalanced individual had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, they would not have put him in a cell with a black person."
"If he was a rapist, they wouldn't have put him in a cell with a woman. If he had bombed a synagogue they wouldn't have put him in a cell with a Jewish person. If he had been that white kid up in Wisconsin that shot those demonstrators they would not have put him in a cell with demonstrators," he continued. "I mean this is either sheer stupidity or meanness that's the only way I can explain it."
What's the background?
Hatchett was allegedly involved in a racially motivated attack on August 25, when he walked into an AutoZone near his house and proceeded to stab a 51-year-old white employee in the neck and torso seven times.
Police noted that the victim, whose name was not released, had no apparent connection to Hatchett. The victim was transported to a hospital to receive treatment and is expected to recover.
During court proceedings, Columbus Police Sgt. Ray Mills allegedly told a judge that Hatchett greeted him with a smile and readily confessed to the crime when officers came to arrest him.
"Mr. Hatchett told me that he had been watching Facebook videos of police shootings in other parts of the country and that he felt compelled to go stab a white male," Mills reportedly testified at the time.