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CO stabbed by inmate in Fla. prison

Sen. Doug Broxson said the officer is "going to be fine" and that she suffered non-life-threatening injuries


By Tom McLaughlin
Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach

MILTON, Fla. — A corrections officer at Blackwater River Correctional Facility was stabbed by an inmate Tuesday morning.

"She's going to be fine," said state Sen. Doug Broxson, whose district houses the prison.

The assault occurred at 8:40 a.m. during a "routine post assignment," according to a statement released Thursday by The Geo Group, the private organization that runs the Blackwater River prison east of Milton.

"The officer received immediate medical attention and was transported to an area medical facility. The incident was referred to law enforcement and remains under ongoing investigation," the release said.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said his agency had not been contacted to investigate the stabbing.

Dexter McWhite, 56, who is serving a life sentence for aggravated assault, robbery and armed robbery, attacked the officer, according to The GEO Group.

The GEO Group did not release the identity of the victim, whose injury was not life-threatening.

The prison has been on lockdown since Tuesday, an inmate's family member said. It remained locked down Thursday evening, according to the prison staff.

Questions about the stabbing were deflected by the Florida Department of Corrections to the state Department of Management Services. The DOC said Managment Services has oversight of private prisons.

In a late afternoon email, a Management Services spokeswoman said The GEO Group would respond to all questions about the stabbing. Blackwater River administrators also directed questions to The GEO Group.

Broxson finally stepped in late in the day to break the gridlock. He said he had communicated to officials at the state agencies and Blackwater the need for future transparency.

"I encouraged the departments to be more open in the process," he said.

©2018 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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