Courthouse using extra security in Nacogdoches trial

Nickolai Davis mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.
Nickolai Davis mug shot courtesy of Nacogdoches County Jail.

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches County Courthouse is using extra security Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of attacking a jailer while he was being processed into custody.

The sheriff's office assigned an extra officer to monitor Nickolai Savant Davis, 36, due to him being considered a danger.

Davis was being booked into the jail in December 2010 when he assaulted a jailer with a cell door, then attempted to pin him to the bars, Sheriff Thomas Kerss said. Other jailers came to the assaulted jailer's assistance and placed Davis in the cell. The jailer was taken to a Nacogdoches hospital where he was treated and released.

Davis is on trial for assault on a public servant.

He was under arrest at the time for failing to register as a sex offender.

During Wednesday's testimony, the jailer, Christopher Benson, took the stand, as well as two other jailers who assisted in the incident, before the state rested.

Benton recalled the day he said Davis caught him off-guard by pinning him to the cell bars and grabbing his throat.

Kerss says jailers have a high risk job.

"When you least expect it sometimes you look up and it's too late," Kerss said. "You've been attacked. You've been assaulted or caught off guard."

His injuries required medical attention.

Jail staff testified it took three of them through a use of force to cuff Davis.

"We're always allowed to use the amount of force that's necessary to overcome whatever the threat is," Kerss said.

Jailers say Davis became irritated when he was told to get off the booking phone. Benton chose to put Davis in the detox tank away from the other inmates so he could cool off.

"It's just by putting them in a different environment can help calm the situation," Kerss said.

But according to jailers, that's when Davis became violent. Once cuffed, Davis was put in a restraint chair.

"That can bind the arms, the legs and even the torso of the individual," Kerss said.

Jurors were shown jail video. They watched the activities in the same hallway Davis walked down after today's testimony.

The scuffle was just out of view from the cameras.

"We still don't have near enough cameras in the jail to nearly cover the viewing area as much as I would like, but we're certainly farther along tan we were a few years ago when we had none," Kerss said.

Jailers say, except for the allegation against him, Davis has been a well-behaved inmate. There were no prior or subsequent incidents that created concern.

A charge for an assault against a peace officer will be presented to the jury in the morning.

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