The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 7, 2014

Man sentenced in officer assault

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve as much as 15 years in prison for assaulting a correctional officer in the Clinton County jail.

District Court Judge Joel Barrows sentenced James M. Douglas to no more than 15 years for assault, without the intent of causing injury, causing serious injury on Thursday. He will not be eligible for parole until after serving at least three years.

Barrows followed the recommendation of the pre-sentencing investigation report and Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf, based on the defendant’s “rather astonishing” criminal history.

Defense Attorney Harry DeLang told the court that he and his client expected this sentence. Turning to look his victim in the eye, Douglas apologized for his actions.

“You’re a good person. You’ve always been a sweetheart to me,” Douglas said. “If I could take it back I would.”

According to court documents, correctional officers in the county jail responded to a loud commotion in the attorney/law library room at 7:50 a.m. on April 10, 2013. Correctional Officer Jessica Wright was found lying unresponsive in a hallway outside the room with blood dripping from her nose.

She was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed with a broken nose and a concussion, according to the affidavit.

Court documents continue that Douglas was the only person in the room. The defendant told Sgt. Joe Steffen that “she laid her hands on me...Joe you don’t do that,” according to the affidavit.

Wright later told Steffen that she was was attempting to move Douglas out of the room when he hit her in the head and knocked her radio microphone out of her hand, according to court documents.