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Shanks Continue to Plague Augusta Jail as Another Inmate is Stabbed

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An Augusta inmate was hospitalized Friday after being repeatedly stabbed with shanks from two other inmates who wanted his items from chow call.

The bloody assault on the G-Pod continues a streak of violent stabbings with metal shanks inside the broken and overcrowded facility named for former Sheriff Charles B. Webster.

Matthew Bailey, 29, put up a fight Friday night and suffered for it, getting stabbed in the face, shoulder, neck and stomach. He was rushed to Piedmont Hospital, authorities said.

Tony Landers, 20, and Dasani Wilkinson, 22, are both facing new felony charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, weapon possession, inmate possession of a weapon and riot violence in confinement. Richmond County authorities say one was armed with a shank with a 9-inch blade while the other had one with a 10.5-inch blade.

Landers was previously charged with stabbing two other inmates in April. His partner in the stabbing is a convicted drug dealer who keeps getting slaps on the wrist for his crimes. While on probation over the summer, he was accused of aggravated assault with a gun, despite being a felon.

For his part, the stabbing victim is a felon who has been jailed since last December for allegedly shooting a man in his arm last summer on Birdie Drive. Pending charges on Bailey also include possession of meth, marijuana and Oxycodone as well as theft by receiving, leaving the scene of an accident and theft by receiving stolen property.

Inmates continue to create sharpened shanks in the jail from pieces taken from the decaying structure. During a tour last month, reporters and city commissioners were shown two tables full of metal pieces where the inmates had used portions of the lighting housing to transform them into “shanks,” lethal weapons, that is.

And during a murder trial last month, defense attorney Khary Talley excused his client’s misbehavior in the jail by saying many inmates believe they must stay armed with shanks to avoid being stabbed.

The Augusta Commission had an opportunity to renovate the Charles B. Webster Detention Center in 2020, but opted instead to fund quality-of-life projects and build a prison. Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s request was denied.

Jail officials continue to search cells to locate the hand-made weapons, with several arrests that have not been previously reported:

• On Oct. 30, Ramondo Williams, 19, was found with two shanks, hidden in his mattress during a search of his cell. One of the weapons was described as a 5-inch blade with a cloth wrapped around the bottom. He is being held for a 2022 murder in the death of Morris Harden Jr., a 58-year-old victim who was found beside a rural road in Burke County. His left leg was broken and a piece of rope was found with his body, indicating he may have been bound. Harden had suffered a number of gunshots to his neck and back.

• On Oct. 14, Antionous Thomas Jr., 21, was spotted carrying a weapon in his waistband in the dayroom of G-pod. He tried to throw it over his shoulder, but a deputy retrieved the shank, described as an 8-inch weapon wrapped in cloth. Thomas is one of several defendants awaiting trial for the 2022 murder of 8-year-old Arbrie Leigh Anthony.

• On Oct. 12, William Chalker, 32, was found with two shanks inside the rubber topper of his crutches during a search of his cell. One was described as a 5.5-inch metal shank. He was arrested in August for heroin possession, fleeing police and other charges.

• On. Oct. 3, De Quinn Hamlin, 36, was found with a 10-inch metal shank in his jumpsuit during a frisk, authorities said. He’s been in jail for two years, awaiting trial for the murder of 37-year-old Ladon Burley Jr., inside his home at the Augusta Estates Mobile Home Park on Wrightsboro Road.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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