Inmates start a fire when jail TV goes out -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Inmates start a fire when jail TV goes out

(Colquit Co. Sheriff image) (Colquit Co. Sheriff image)
Officer Chris Robinson (WALB image) Officer Chris Robinson (WALB image)
Jailer Rod Howell (WALB image) Jailer Rod Howell (WALB image)
The fire being started (Colquitt Sheriff image) The fire being started (Colquitt Sheriff image)

Two Colquitt County inmates are facing new charges for crimes investigators say they committed behind bars. Newly-installed surveillance cameras captured one inmate setting fire to a pile of paper inside the jail.

Investigators credit that security system for helping detectives easily identify the inmates responsible. They say the inmates set the fire because they were angry that the TVs weren't working in their pod. Jail officials say that wasn't the best way to get their point across.

Seventy new surveillance cameras canvass the Colquitt County Jail every second of every day.  But on July 9th,  cameras caught one angry inmate who wanted his voice heard.

"That's him.  That's Kyle Turner.  He's bringing that stuff down," said Investigator Chris Robinson. "It just gives you more reason to be more cautious because you never know what they're planning to do next."

He says Gary Kyle Turner decided he would set fire inside his pod, because his pod no longer had access to television. "That's their only gateway to the outside world.  And if they don't have that, they feel like they're completely shut down," Robinson said.

Robinson says their city cable company had recently been updated, and was no longer compatible with the older TVs in this particular area of the jail.  "So they decided to go on a self-imposed hunger strike, not accepting any meals from our kitchen."

But apparently the hunger strike wasn't enough.  Surveillance video shows Turner running down the stairs with a fireball, setting fire to items collected with the help of fellow inmate Troy Carver. "It's just a game.  They think by doing that they can get their way.  Almost like children," Robinson said.

It took a couple of minutes for jailers to extinguish the fire.  But the outcome of the fire didn't turn out quite like the inmates wanted. "Pod 2, dayroom 9 will not see a TV for a while," said Lt. Rod Howell, Chief Jailer.

Turner is now charged with arson, interference with government property, and possession of a destructive device.  Carver is facing party to a crime charges.

They plan to install additional cameras to prevent any blind spots in the jail. 

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