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Tennessee Jailer Convicted of Official Misconduct, “Extreme Provocative Contact”

by Monte McCoin

PLN previously reported the January 2016 grand jury indictments of former Morgan County, Tennessee jail guard Joe D. Shoffner, Jr. and fellow jailers Garren Austin Luke Cooper and Michael Alan Lloyd for their roles in an incident in which a prisoner was assaulted. [See: PLN, April 2016, p.63].

Shoffner, Cooper and Lloyd had been investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation after information developed that the trio had improperly tried to restrain a prisoner on December 12, 2015, and the incident escalated to an excessive level of force. In addition to Shoffner’s felony official misconduct charge, all three guards were initially charged with assault. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the counts against Cooper and Lloyd in an August 2016 plea deal, leaving Shoffner alone to face criminal charges stemming from the incident.

On February 9, 2018, jurors wrapped up a two-day trial by convicting Shoffner of both felony official misconduct and a reduced single misdemeanor count of “extreme provocative contact” against a prisoner. No details about his March 2018 sentencing were available. 



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