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Mount Olive inmate awaiting murder trial indicted in another assault

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Mount Olive inmate accused of killing another inmate last year was indicted Thursday for allegedly attempting to kill yet another inmate with a broken broomstick.

A Fayette County grand jury indicted Christopher Cox, 27, on attempted murder and malicious assault charges. Cox allegedly broke a broomstick and stabbed Talbert F. Dehaven III, 35, on April 11. Both are inmates at Mount Olive Correctional Complex.

The grand jury's indictment was announced Thursday, after an investigation by the West Virginia State Police.

Cox has served seven years of a 30-year sentence for second-degree murder and second-degree robbery. He admitted to stabbing and shooting a 49-year-old Spencer man during a robbery in August 2005. He's scheduled for a parole hearing on that charge in August 2019, and has a projected release date of Feb. 1, 2036. when he would be 51 years old.

However, another Fayette County grand jury indicted Cox last year on murder charges in the death of inmate Joseph Braddock on Sept. 24, 2011.

Police said both men were in a cellblock, or pod, when Cox knocked Braddock to the ground and kicked him in the head several times. Braddock, who was convicted in 2007 of charges linked to soliciting two 14-year-old boys for sex, was later pronounced dead in the hospital.

Braddock's family filed a lawsuit last month in Kanawha Circuit Court, alleging that corrections officers ignored threats on Braddock's life and failed to react during the deadly assault.

When the attack happened, the Mount Olive corrections officers assigned to the recreation yard that day only gave Cox "loud commands to stop" and did not enter the yard or attempt to physically impede Cox's rampage, the suit states. Instead, the officers sprayed a small canister of tear gas into the yard, the lawsuit states.

Cox does not have a trial scheduled on the murder charges from last year or the more recent charges, according to Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Carl L. Harris.

Dehaven has served 12 years of a 31-year sentence for seven counts of forgery or uttering out of Jefferson and Berkley counties. His next parole hearing is Feb. 1, 2013. He is projected to be released in August 2031, at the age of 54.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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