Former Leflore County juvenile officer pleads guilty in 2016 beating

Published 12:48 pm Thursday, May 10, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A former juvenile detention officer faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to beating a teenage boy.

Edward Gibson pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Oxford to one count of depriving a person of their civil rights. Prosecutors say the 28-year-old Gibson threw an electric fan at a boy who was handcuffed and shackled and then punched him multiple times in June 2016. Other officers pulled him of the victim.

Gibson’s former supervisor at the Leflore County Detention Center, Dianne Williams, pleaded guilty April 17 to a felony charge of withholding information about a crime. She wrote a false report saying she knew nothing about the beating. Williams faces up to three years in prison.

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Court papers show the boy called Gibson an obscenity while Gibson was booking him into the detention center, and Gibson attacked the boy.

Court papers say Gibson threw the fan at the boy with no further provocation, and then punched him multiple times. Two officers pulled Gibson off the boy, but he took off his uniform shirt and tried to attack the boy again, although another guard absorbed most of the punches.

Moments later, Gibson tried to run down the hall and enter the boy’s cell, forcing officers to hold him back a third time.

Court papers say a third guard called Williams immediately, but the sergeant never reported the assault to the Director Robert Fitzpatrick or told officers to write reports. The boy’s parents told Fitzpatrick weeks later.

Prosecutors have agreed to dismiss a second charge against Gibson for hitting a juvenile girl in January 2015. Court papers say the 17-year-old girl cursed at Gibson and the two began yelling at each other. Two officers say Gibson shoved the girl into her cell, and that Gibson hit her in the head multiple times after the girl swung at him. Fitzpatrick suspended Gibson for 30 days without pay. Gibson wrote an apology letter.

Sentencing is scheduled for Gibson on Sept. 12 and for Williams on Aug. 23.