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Inmate Broke Through Wall to Stab Man in Neighboring Cell: Sheriff's Office

Jail inmate took advantage of the jail’s dilapidated condition, the sheriff’s office said.

A Georgia jail inmate is accused of digging a hole through a wall to attack another inmate Wednesday, sheriff's officials said. Inmate Kavian Thomas was under investigation in a stabbing attack on fellow inmate Derondney Russell, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Thursday. Here's what you need to know about this shocking incident.

Who Is Kavian Thomas?

Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Thomas, of Lithonia, Georgia, was in custody on various charges, including first-degree arson, first-degree criminal damage to property, riot in a penal institution, and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers. He was previously charged with theft, marijuana possession, and firearms charges, which are pending.

Who Was Attacked?


The sheriff's office offered little information about Russell or why he was in custody. He sustained superficial stab wounds to his upper body and was treated in the jail's medical unit, the sheriff's office said.

What Happened

Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Thomas "dug a hole through a shower wall which gave him access to the adjacent cell block where inmate Derondney Russell was attacked," the sheriff's office said. The incident took place at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Fulton County Jail on Rice Street in Atlanta. It's not clear why Thomas attacked Russell.

What Happened Next

Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Deputies searched both cell blocks and found several weapons, including "shanks made from parts of the dilapidated building infrastructure," the sheriff's department said. "It presents a constant challenge for us to eliminate things like this from access to the inmates," interim Fulton County Jail Cmdr. Curtis Clark said in a statement.

What's Next


An investigation is underway in the attack. Further charges are pending against Thomas. Meanwhile, officials are mulling what to do about the poor state of the Fulton County Jail. "This jail has clearly outlived its useful life," Clark said. "That reality makes it even more challenging for us to do our job of providing the safest possible environment, not only for staff but for the inmates as well."

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