By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Stuart Gordon, who had been in the Chase County Jail since last July, is now being housed in Grand Island’s Hall County Jail.
Gordon, 22, is facing a second degree felony assault charge, after allegedly stabbing Marie Sieperda as she was leaving work after closing up at Subway on July 6, 2010.
Since then, two terroristic threat charges (one against a deputy and another to an inmate) have been added, as well as two counts of third degree assault on an officer, said County Attorney Arlan Wine.
Sheriff Kevin Mueller said Gordon needed to be in a facility with more personnel and a higher security level.
He has spit several times on sheriff’s office staff, Mueller said, threatened other prisoners and has caused thousands of dollars of damage to the jail. He allegedly damaged the lights, tore a mirror off the wall, defaced the walls with graffiti and caused damage to the sewer, Mueller said.
Gordon also had refused to shower.
Mueller himself was assaulted twice by Gordon on Feb. 3 when the inmate started throwing punches, then kicked him.
Mueller said he had asked Gordon to come out of his cell, “and he started throwing punches.” He was taken to the ground and cuffed. Once up, he kicked Mueller, was taken to the ground again and then placed in an isolation chair.
His behavior was becoming an ongoing problem, Mueller said.
“If we’d left him here, it would be a constant battle. He needed to be in a facility with full-time jailers,” the sheriff said.
Here, the sheriff’s dispatchers are also responsible for the jailer duties. Mueller said he didn’t want his dispatchers, who work alone at night, in that situation any longer.
Sheriff Mueller received the okay from the commissioners to transfer Gordon to the Hall County facility, which was done on Feb. 7.
Sheriff Mueller said Gordon is being held in a padded cell there.
It is costing the county $55 per day to house him in Grand Island. Here, a prisoner costs the county about $15 per day for meals.
At their Feb. 22 meeting, the commissioners also approved purchase of security cameras for inside the Chase County jail cells, allowing dispatchers to observe the prisoners without entering the cell block.
Trial date on hold
Last week, personnel from the sheriff’s office transported Gordon back to Imperial from Grand Island for a Feb. 22 status hearing.
County Attorney Wine said they had a plea agreement in place dealing with Gordon’s alleged assault on Sieperda, and for the Class 4 felony terroristic threat charge stemming from his threat to a deputy last August.
Wine said Gordon had agreed to the plea, but changed his mind at last week’s hearing and requested a jury trial.
But, he changed his mind again, waived the jury trial and agreed to a trial before the judge that had been set for March 22.
Since then, District Judge David W. Urbom ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Gordon, which will likely be done in Grand Island, Wine said.
Because of that, the March 22 trial date was continued, and Gordon was transported back to Hall County last Tuesday.
Gordon has yet to be arraigned on the most recent assault on an officer charges, which are third degree felonies, and for the terroristic threats to a fellow inmate, a Class 4 felony.