Prison fight prompts fire that forces evacuation of inmates

Prison fight prompts fire that forces evacuation of inmates

POSTED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 11:30am

UPDATED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 11:42am

Two inmates are facing new charges after they allegedly set a fire that prompted the evacuation of the prison.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office reports that the incident occurred around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27. We’re told Skylleur Hayes started the blaze by setting fire to a blanket. He allegedly did so in connection to a fight that occurred between an inmate and Jovonta Johnson the prior day.

Officials say smoke filled the jail and inmates were evacuated outside the facility. Patrol officers from the Thibodaux Police Department were called in to help assist.

It took a little over an hour before the jail was deemed safe to reenter. No serious damage was caused to the facility.

An investigation was launched and detectives learned that the fire was directly related to an incident that had occurred the day before. Officials say Johnson had beaten another inmate in the block where the fire occurred the day prior. That same inmate was approached by Hayes the day of the fire and told him to cover a security camera or he would be subject to another beating. The inmate complied and that’s when Hayes allegedly set the blanket on fire.

Detectives believe Hayes started the fire by sticking a metal object surrounded by toilet paper into a power receptacle.

Hayes was serving a 30-day sentence for Contempt of Court and was being held on a $10,000 bond due to a probation violation. He is now additionally charged with Aggravated Arson and Simple Assault. His bond is now set at $115,000.

Johnson was serving a 90-day sentence for Contempt of Court, Disturbing the Peace and Resisting an Officer. He was also being held on a $350,000 after his arrest in February for Armed Robbery and Aggravated Second-Degree Battery. He is now charged with Simple Battery and his new bond is set at $355,000.

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