Two former Lynchburg correctional officers indicted for alleged assault and battery of inmate

Local News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Two former Lynchburg correctional officers suspected in the assault of an inmate in May 2019 have been indicted by a grand jury.

Julius Anthony Tallant, 26, of Lewisburg, Tenn., and Navarone Andrew Hartman, 27, of Madison Heights, were both indicted for a misdemeanor assault and battery of inmate Preston Burns.

According to court documents, the assault took place at the Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency room, where Blue Ridge Regional Jail Lynchburg staff transported him.

He was in the custody of three corrections officers: Hartman, Tallant and Cory Hancock. Court documents say video footage shows Burns entering the hospital uninjured. He was placed in a hospital bay and the officers partially closed the curtains, according to court documents.

Penelope Burns, the victim’s mother told WFXR in September 2019 her son was in custody for a trespassing charge.

Burns sought clearance from the hospital for transportation to Western State Hospital, according to a warrant.

A warrant said several witnesses including nurses, doctors, and janitorial staff, witnessed or heard officers assault Burns, who was restricted with leg restraints, a waist belt, and handcuffed in the front of his body.

Burns “suffered substantial injuries to his face and neck while in that bay,” according to court documents. Due to his injuries, he was x-rayed and examined by a forensic nurse.

When law enforcement interviewed the officers, “several of them claimed that the injuries were the result of their justified actions and how they were trained.” according to the warrant.

Court documents said Tallant and Hartman were released on a $2,000 bond. Their trial is set for February.


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