NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office deputy was seriously injured Tuesday after a jail inmate allegedly assaulted him at the county courthouse and both of them fell down a stairway.
According to a press release, NCSO deputy Mark Morris, a 16-year veteran with the sheriff's office who works as a bailiff for the 145th Judicial District Court, was assisting with inmates during proceedings taking place in a county court-at-law. Keith Dean Cornell, 28, of Spring, started being disruptive and was removed from the second-floor courtroom, the press release stated.
Morris and other law enforcement officers escorted Cornell into a stairway, so Morris could take the inmate back to the county jail. When the officers entered the stairway, Cornell allegedly jerked away from a deputy and assaulted Morris, causing them both to fall down the stairway. Cornell landed on Morris, the press release stated.
Morris suffered cuts to his head and back. EMS personnel transported Morris and Cornell to a Nacogdoches hospital. According to the press release, Cornell didn't complain of any injuries and was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He was expected to be released later Wednesday and returned to the jail, Morris still at the hospital.
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said that Cornell was in jail on a motion to revoke probation charge. Cornell will now be facing a first-degree aggravated assault of a public servant charge, Bridges said.
"Deputy Morris has been an outstanding deputy and has played a vital part of serving our court system and our citizens with great distinction," Bridges said. "We are praying for his well-being and a speedy recovery."