Former jailer pleads guilty to lacing prisoners’ cigarettes


FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2014, file photo, a man smokes a cigarette on Main Street in Westminster, Mass. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign a law on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, banning sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola), File

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A one-time Alabama jailer accused of sickening inmates by lacing their cigarettes with self-defense spray has pleaded guilty to assault charges.

Former Morgan County corrections officer Jaylend Edward Handley, 27, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four counts of third-degree assault, news outlets reported.

Court documents show that Handley was working at the jail last October when he sprayed a prisoners’ cigarettes with irritating spray normally used for self-defense. Handley acted in retaliation for something the man had said, a complaint said.

The prisoner and three others who shared the cigarettes began having breathing problems and were briefly taken to a hospital as a precaution. Handley was arrested after an investigation uncovered what had happened.

Handley was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and sentenced to 180 days in jail, followed by two years on probation, records show, and he can no longer work in law enforcement.

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