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Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Thursday he has yet to hear back from the FBI about the outcome of an investigation into allegations that inmates were being paid by jailers to beat up other inmates.
“I don’t think there’s anything to it,” the sheriff said. “I just think we got a habitual liar that’s making his allegations to try to manipulate the system.”
Stockton said the allegations were made by Charles Daniel Mullins, whose rap sheet includes rape, theft and other charges.
“He was alleging that some inmates were getting paid to beat other inmates up, and he said that an officer had paid him to whip an inmate,” Stockton said. “We didn’t find any truth to that at all.”
Mullins allegedly assaulted fellow inmate John Paul Little at the Roane County Jail in September 2012. Little was taken to Roane Medical Center by ambulance.
Little was in custody on a child rape charge. Mullins was convicted of criminal attempt to commit rape in Cumberland County in 2005. He’s also accused of raping a teenage girl in Roane County in March 2012.
“Mullins has a history of telling tales and starting trouble, not only with officers but with inmates,” Stockton said.
At the time of his alleged assault on Little, Mullins was in custody on a charge violating community supervision.
“Both of them were sexual offenders,” Stockton said. “That’s what didn’t make any sense. Usually sex offenders do not beat each other.”
The Roane County grand jury indicted Mullins for aggravated assault-bodily injury on June 17 for the alleged beating of Little.
Little filed a lawsuit over the incident in federal court.
“I heard the door close, and I heard Mullins say something to another guy in the pod,” he contends in the lawsuit. “Then about 10 minutes passed. I was getting hit in the head and body. I could not move because I was covered up. I woke up in the ER. I was told I got hit like 48 times in the head and 27 times in the body.”
Mullins, Little claims, was telling people that some officers paid him with cigarettes, a cellphone, pills and commissary items.
“I do know that my rights has been violated by this jail and county,” Little said in his lawsuit.
Out of caution, Stockton said he asked the FBI to investigate.
“I don’t see that happening, but when someone is making allegations about civil rights violations, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.
Little is still in custody at the Roane County jail. Mullins is being held at the Blount County Jail in Maryville.