An Elizabeth City man already in jail facing charges of first-degree murder and witness intimidation will likely soon face additional charges following his alleged assault on a jail employee.
The Pasquo-tank Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident March 16 in which Raymond Woodley is accused of punching Officer Brian Johnson at Albemarle District Jail.
According to Albemarle District Jail Administrator Robert Jones, Johnson had ordered Woodley — who was being allowed to make a phone call — to hang up the phone. Woodley refused and then hit Johnson in the head with his fist, Jones said.
Johnson suffered a slight concussion but was able to return to work the next night, Jones said.
“Unfortunately it’s the nature of the beast,” Jones said of the incident. “We work in an environment where spontaneous actions like this happen. We have to deal with it as it occurs.”
Woodley, 20, of the 700 block of Greenleaf Street, is currently being confined at the jail in lieu of a $1,010,000 secured bond.
He is awaiting trial for first-degree murder in the May 3, 2018, shooting death of Trevon Demetrius Blount. According to Elizabeth City police, Blount was shot eight times and later died at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.
Woodley’s trial was scheduled to begin earlier this month. However, Superior Court Judge Lamont Wiggins issued a continuance to allow the defense time to explore new evidence in the case.
Defense attorney Tonza Ruffin sought the continuance after the state asked during a pre-trial hearing that social media messages related to the case be admitted as evidence. The Facebook messages surfaced Feb. 26 and refer to an alleged gun sale deal gone bad between Woodley and Blount months before the shooting.
Woodley’s trial for Blount’s murder is now scheduled to begin May 11.
Since being granted the continuance, Woodley has been charged with two felony counts of witness intimidation. Arrest warrants charge him with having an “associate” contact two witnesses and threaten them in an attempt to keep them from attending court and testifying at his trial. The two witnesses were allegedly threatened March 2 through March 5, the warrants state.
Johnson, meanwhile, is the second ADJ employee to suffer a concussion after being hit by an inmate in less than two weeks, and the third jail employee since November injured in an assault by an inmate.
Capt. Chris Poyner was struck by inmate Donnell Johnson, 34, multiple times in the face while Poyner and two other officers were attempting to remove Johnson from his cell. A jail official said Poyner was treated for a mild concussion and able to return to work the following day.
Donnell Johnson, a federal inmate from Fayetteville charged with illegal firearms possession, has since been charged with assault on a government official and assault inflicting serious injury, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten said on Friday. The sheriff’s office plans to take the charges against Johnson to a grand jury, Wooten said.
In the November incident, Officer Trey-Vaughan Xavier Lewis suffered a broken nose and lacerations to his face when he was hit in the face by Lewis Cotton, a federal inmate serving an 11-year federal sentence for armed robbery. Cotton likewise was charged with assault on a government official and assault inflicting serious bodily injury.
Johnson and Cotton are among a number of federal inmates housed at Albemarle District Jail, Wooten said. The federal government has a contract with the jail, paying it a set fee to house inmates in its custody.