Grand jury indicts former HRRJ correctional officer on felony charges

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PORTSMOUTH, Va.  (WAVY) — A former correctional officer at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail has been indicted on felony charges of malicious wounding and strangulation.

The indictment, handed up Thursday, accuses Dale P. Barnes of causing bodily injury to Skyler Peacock with the “intent to disable” on January 9, 2018. 

Peacock was and remains in custody at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail.

The indictment reads that Barnes “did impede the blood circulation or respiration” of Peacock by applying pressure to his neck. 

This comes less than a week after the Office of the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney said it was seeking an indictment against Barnes in connection to an alleged incident from January.

Barnes was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery in November for the same incident. Those charges were withdrawn in court last month. 

However in a criminal complaint, Peacock describes being “attacked” by Barnes as he was going to get his pills.

“He lunged at me, choking me on my way down to the ground,” Peacock said in court documents. “I wrapped my arm around the rail on the stairs, his exact words were ‘if you don’t remove your arm, I will put your ass to sleep’.”

Peacock describes passing out, waking up, and not being able to move his arm.

Thursday during an interview at the HRRJ, his arm remained in a sling. Peacock told 10 On Your Side he was ultimately in the hospital for two days following the incident.

Peacock is currently being held on a probation violation for grand larceny and probation violation for assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, according to the jail. 

Peacock, who described himself as having “mental health problems,” told 10 On Your Side he was pleased to see Barnes indicted. 

“He deserves what he gets because what he done to me,” Peacock said. “It’s going to show that officers here can’t do whatever they want to us.”

Peacock conceded his actions may have helped lead to what happened that January day. 

“I talked trash to [Barnes] like I normally do,” Peacock said, about the moments before the alleged altercation. “[The jail officers are] not supposed to react. They are supposed to let it go. But that day, I’m not sure if officer Barnes had something going on, in his head or whatever.”

Barnes’ attorney previously told 10 On Your Side his client is no longer an employee at the jail. 

If he is convicted on the new charges, he could face up to 5 years in prison. 

The case has been hurled into the spotlight weeks after a Department of Justice investigation into conditions at the jail stated there is reason to believe the jail violates mentally ill and disabled prisoners’ rights under both the 8th and 14th amendments and the ADA due to restrictive housing practices.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest developments.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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