Texas jailer arrested after inmate injured with hot water

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A former Texas jailer was arrested amid accusations of instructing two inmates to throw hot water on another inmate.

Jasmine Nakia Lawson, a jailer at Nueces County Jail, wanted an inmate hurt because the inmate called her a derogatory term, according to a Nueces County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit.

The inmate suffered burn blisters on her face and chest, the affidavit states.

A surveillance video shows Lawson laugh after one of the inmates threw a cup of water from a microwave on the inmate Feb. 18, 2017.

Lawson, 26, faces criminal charges of aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and official oppression, a class A misdemeanor.

The inmates who threw water admitted to doing so under Lawson’s instruction, according to the affidavit. One inmate told a Nueces County sergeant that Lawson told her, “I want something done to her.”

That inmate offered to throw microwaved water on the other inmate and Lawson told her to do it while Lawson wasn’t watching.

Lawson later told two inmates she wanted water thrown on the inmate again because the first time the water “was not hot enough to make her stop yelling,” the affidavit states.

Several other inmates told a Nueces County sergeant they saw the other inmates throw steaming water on the inmate and said Lawson saw and did nothing, according to the affidavit.

Another corrections officer saw the inmate's injuries later that day. A detective was assigned the case at the end of February. On March 8, the detective obtained two warrants and Lawson was arrested and terminated.

Lawson had worked for the Sheriff's Office since Sept. 30, 2016, and was still within jailers' 6-month probationary period, said Abel Carreon, chief of jail operations. She hadn't received disciplinary action before her arrest and termination, Carreon said.

The Nueces County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case and will decide whether others are charged in the incident, Carreon said.

Follow Krista M Torralva on Twitter: @CallerKMT

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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