A federal inmate in the Morgan County Jail, already facing a Madison County capital murder charge and awaiting sentencing on federal fraud counts, was charged with second-degree assault after beating a female corrections officer Monday afternoon, according to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.

Lemond Lawerance Burns, 22, of Alpine, attacked officer Kathy Evans, who was distributing meals, after he requested a smoke break, sheriff's spokesman Mike Swafford said in a release. Swafford said Burns approached Evans and punched her twice in the head and face.

Evans was knocked down and taken to the Decatur Morgan Hospital emergency room in an ambulance. Evans sustained multiple injuries including a concussion and contusions around her mouth and eye, which was swollen closed Tuesday. She also received additional bruising to her back, head and arms from hitting the ground, Swafford said.

He said Evans was released from the hospital Monday night and spent Tuesday at doctors’ offices being treated for injuries involving her teeth and eye.

Morgan County Investigator Caleb Brooks with the Special Victims Unit obtained a warrant for Burns on the assault charge with a $50,000 bond. Burns will face the charge once previous state and federal charges are resolved.

Jail records list Burns as 6-foot-5, 170 pounds. He was rehoused in an isolation pod at the county jail, Swafford said.

“Our corrections officers are unsung members of our team,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said in a news release. “They serve in a $13-an-hour position, spending more time in jail than many of our inmates. This was a cold, unwarranted attack with no remorse. We hurt with Officer Evans who is a model officer, is active in her community and has a heart for serving. This event is a reminder of their true value to our community.”

Swafford said Tuesday afternoon Burns is one of 62 federal inmates housed in Morgan County Jail. He said the jail currently has 643 inmates, and a capacity of 1,000.

According to court records, Burns has been in the Morgan jail since Feb. 8 on federal conspiracy and fraud charges involving a 2019 counterfeiting and fake gift-card scheme at a Gadsden Walmart. He pleaded guilty in March and his sentencing is scheduled in June.

Before being taken into custody by federal authorities and housed in the Morgan County Jail, he was in Madison County Jail charged with capital murder in the death of Dallis Patrick Ryan Wolfe, an Alabama A&M student, in January. Those charges are still pending.

Madison County District Court records allege Burns fired multiple rounds of a .40-caliber handgun from a motor vehicle into the left side of a vehicle and struck and killed Wolfe on Jan. 18. 

Burns also faces third-degree domestic assault charges in Madison County for allegedly slapping and punching his girlfriend in the face in October. He was released on that charge on $1,000 bond.

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mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.

(1) comment

Sam Cat

Why is an inmate who is charged with murder doing in general population? If we are going to house Federal Inmates it sounds like the County Commission needs to pony up some more $$$ and hire more corrections officers.

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