Man pleads guilty to charge in jail assault


One of the three men charged in an inmate assault at the Tri-County Regional Jail over the summer pleaded guilty to a felony charge last week.

Jalen Baxter, 22, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, a fourth degree felony, during a plea hearing. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22. Baxter faces a potential maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine.

The aggravated assault charge was introduced through a bill of information and a previous charge of felonious assault was dismissed as part of a plea resolution.

The charge against Baxter stems from a July 26 assault of inmate Derek Michael-Tyler Lore at the Tri-County Jail. Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi stated there are two co-defendants in the case, Devonte R. Pigue and Kevin D. Byrd.

Baxter was indicted earlier this year in Union County for possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin and pleaded guilty to an amended trafficking in heroin charge on Sept. 14. He was sentenced to 36 months in prison last month.

Byrd, 24, pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge introduced through a bill of information on Sept. 19. A sentencing hearing in his case is scheduled for Oct. 18.

In Union County, Byrd was indicted for possession of heroin and possessing criminal tools earlier this year. A plea hearing in this case was scheduled for Sept. 29 according to the Union County Clerk of Court’s website.

A final pretrial conference for Pigue, 23, is scheduled for Nov. 10. Pigue is charged with felonious assault and receiving stolen property.

The grand jury indictment contends the receiving stolen property charge against Pigue stems form conduct on or about May 20.

On Aug. 5, community control for Pigue from a 2014 Champaign County criminal case was revoked during a community control merits and disposition hearing. He was sent to prison for 24 months.

By Nick Walton

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Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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