MetroNews staff photo

A Dunbar teenager housed at the North Central Regional Jail died of injuries suffered in a jailhouse fight.   Convicted murderer Jeron Hawkins, 19, was fatally injured in the brawl with another inmate at the Doddridge County lockup on Monday.

“Mr. Hawkins is dead,” confirmed State Corrections Commissioner Jim Reubenstein.   “We had a security detail at the hospital and we were released from that when Mr. Hawkins’ body was released to the custody of the deputy medical examiner in Monongalia County about 6:30pm on January 9th.”

Hawkins got into a fight with Anthony Young, 35, an inmate who was in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service and being held at the regional jail.  He was awaiting sentencing after he attacked another prisoner at the federal prison in Hazelton, West Virginia.  The federal sentencing was set for January 3rd, but was delayed.

“What led to the altercation between these two inmates I’m not certain,” said State Regional Jail Authority Director Joe Delong. “Both were classified as ‘high risk’ inmates and both were in our facility for very violent crimes.”

Delong said the fight broke out during the end of a meal at the jail.  The guard assigned to the floor was in a different section collecting trays.   A guard positioned in the tower was watching the section where the trays were collected by the floor officer because of his exposure to other inmates.   Delong estimates there were 18 to 30 inmates in the section where the fight happened.

“All eyes were on the section where the meal count was taking place and this happened in a neighboring section. ” said Delong. “I don’t think it went on for a very prolonged period of time, but it doesn’t take a prolonged period of time for a person to suffer some substantial injuries.”

State Police are conducting the investigation into the fight.  Young was treated and released from the hospital for his injuries and is now back in the North Central Regional Jail in isolation.  He’s expected to return to a federal facility once the investigation is finished.

Hawkins, 19 was convicted of murder for the shooting death of Lucas Lee, 28 on High Street in Morgantown.  Hawkins shot Lee in an argument over a spilled drink inside a downtown Morgantown night club.  He, like many inmates in the regional jails, was awaiting transfer to a state penitentiary.

“We have approximately 1,800 inmates who have been sentenced to the custody of the Division of Corrections who are in one of the ten regional jails awaiting bed space in one of our facilities,” Reubenstein said. “We’re full as well.”

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  • HOUSE

    It's always easy 4 people 2 speak on situations that they are not personally involved in. First: lives have been lost here. Second: try working in that kind of enviroment. My prayers go out to all involved and the families. Grow up people.

  • Debra

    The 19 year old young man at a bar and had a drink poured over his head and killed the man who did it. Out of my comprehension. We can only pray.

  • lovelife

    This is so sad. I suffer with losing BR (Jaron)everyday. I really think Anthony is in a habit of killing. This is not the first person he has killed while being incarcerated. I look at the age difference between the two men. When BR was born Anthony was nineteen. A young man strength is weaker than a middle age man's strength. He could have easily reprimand this young man by giving him a couple of closed fist punches, but no, what did he do....He picked up a weapon and beat him unmerciful even after BR went unresponsive he continued to beat him. Anthony Young, age 38, enjoys killing!!!!!! How about letting Anthony out of solitary for he can kill again and again. Maybe next time he won't killing another inmate, it may just be a correctional office or two.The NCRJ complains of being over crowded and under staff so are visitors protected when entering the facility? Visitors of North Central Regional Jail, just a reminder, when entering the jail to visit your love one be on the alert for the notorious killer, Anthony Young. You may very well be his next victim.

    • Young wife

      I understand ur hurt sweetie,but please get ur facts rite,Anthony did not kill anyone in jail,he was in the wrong place at the wrong time & the men that was involve are paying the price..he is far from a killer or murder,Actually Hawkins had an knife and my husband did what any other person would had did and that is defend his self..Hawkins jump out there for the second time,but god had a different plan for him this time..So u tell me who sounds like a KILLER?

    • wake up

      For your information the people that are going to the jail to visit is safe. But, I can't understand why you people are being so mean with these statements. These guards are at risk more then you think they are. It was stated these guards are more less rental cops. Would you want this job? What if that was a guard that was beaten like that? They may have a wife or a husband and maybe children. Its a sad thing this guy was beating but it could have been a guard as well. There are two guards per block. There is one in the tower and one in the floor . And there could be well over 130 people per block. And there is a reason the tower guard watches the guard passing out trays. They have to unlock the doors to the area where they eat or each cell if the inmates are on lock down. They also have to work the main doors in an out of the block plus answer other inmates that may buzz the tower. There is more to it than you think. And there was another statement made about quitting if you can't handle the job. Well that is why these places are under staffed. The ones that stays needs the job. The only way to make money is over time because the base pay sucks untop of the worry about getting killed or losing their job...

      • Young wife

        @wake up You are so rite & something need to give..

  • Levelheaded

    Well at least they had a "security detail at the hospital" after the fact. Sounds like they needed a little security at the jail. Oh well, get ready for the lawsuit.

  • steven

    The 19 Hawkins. This started BC Lucas porued a drink on dudes head that's all and the both where firing guns so those of u who dnt know the kid shouldn't judge him BC I know him personally

  • Shadow

    Obviously, he was violent. Look at how much trouble and money Young saved the State. Who knows how many people that may have been hurt by Hawkins during his incarceration or after being paroled.

    • concerned citizen......

      that was a heartless statement, you obviously don't have any compassion for another persons well being. regardless of his crime whose to say what the future would have brung. this was a 19 year old kid who had plenty of time to reflect on his wrong doing and make a change but the chance was taken from him we will never no and he will always be label as a bad seed of society because his life was cut short and people like you will stereotype him even after his death.

      • Young wife

        I don't no what happened,but I do no my husband was acting on self defense & been doing everything he can to stay out of trouble to return home to me & our kids...my heart goes out to the Hawkins family..as well for my husband to be pushed in to an unreal situation...

    • lovelife

      How nice to say it's okay for another inmate to take another inmate's life. If it was one of your love ones, maybe you would not feel so free to make ignored remarks. Face the fact whether you like it or not we will always pay taxes.

  • tim fisher

    If hes 19 why was he in the bar. In the first place?

  • wvman75

    Maybe he spilled his drink.

    • jethro

      priceless!

  • Brian

    I think jail officials have some questions to answer here too. I thought federal inmates were to be housed separately for one. Secondly, why the heck are ALL eyes on one pod? I understand paying a little more attention to areas where you have guards in harm's way, but I think the inmates are owed a little higher duty of care than this. If they had seen the altercation from the beginning, they may not have been able to get to him in time, but at least they would have done all they could. These inmates are people with family and friends that love them. That boy's momma is a person. I know most inmates are not the greatest of people, but if you do not respect their humanity, you are not better than they.

    • tiffany

      I agree officials should have to answer for this. It's overcrowded and it's time to do something about the overcrowding. i think thats where it starts you pack thousands of men where only a few hundred should fit things are bound to escalate as they have and will continue to do. Its time to stop putting people were mad at in jail and put the one's were afraid of in their(gene johnson dept of corrections, virginia). in their youre a number not a person but these guys have kids and families they are people, i believe our system has failed quite a few and made it slip beneath the cracks. my bf was charged with armed robbery face plastered all over the media the system tried to coerce statements and forces lies and when i finally took a stand it was dropped months later my point being only 3 men robbed this place and they held 4 my bf being the fourth, for months without reason. they are only human. maybe we should start treating them that way

    • zerotolerance

      @Brian

      BEFORE you question jail officials and correctional officers, how about putting on the uniform for 30 days, then come back and make a post about your experience. You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk? I highly doubt it!

      You have no idea just how difficult it is to work in a WV Correctional Facility. Underpaid, overworked and highly unappreciated especially by the public.

      As for a federal inmate in a WV jail, you are as equally clueless as the federal inmate beat the snot out another inmate in a Hazelton USP and is subject to WV State Code/Penal Law and was most likely awaiting trial for that offense before returning to Hazelton to complete that sentence.

      Again, before you talk the talk, make sure you can walk the walk!

      • alittletolerance

        I'm sure that it is terribly difficult to deal with people walking around all day with a giant chip on their shoulder. By which I'm referring to the prisoners dealing with the guards. Guards who apparently lack any concern whatsoever for the well-being of their wards.

      • Whatever

        All I can say if u as a correctional officer can not handle the heat that comes
        with the job ..than get out of the kitchen.
        Correctional officers r just wanna be cops..

        • Lmao

          Spoken like a true felon.

        • wvtomd

          the ones who got picked on in school and now act like a bigshot in a uniform. nothing but public security guards.

    • Hank

      Are you kidding me? Each tower officer is responsible for eight sections. It is impossible to keep your eyes on each section twenty four hours a day. The tower needs to keep his eyes on his officer when he is in a section. Most of the time the officer is outnumbered 32 to 1. I understand that inmates are people too but give it a break. Federal Inmates are housed with felons as well.

      • Debra

        I agree with both of the last two posts. Guards do their jobs facing danger every shift that they work.. The inmates commit crimes and think they wont get caught.. When they have to do prison time they are mad at any and every body...They are human, however who would want to live their life bhind bars.. Yes people make bad mistakes. Yes people can change for the better. I doubt Bop can make it better.. Who in their right mind would risk such a dangerous job with the ratio of prisoners to the ratio of Co s .. All guards are not crooked but many are.. So who is wrong inmate or Co?

  • Brian

    That's really sad. He went from going to the club to have a good time, to allowing a spilled drink to escalate to shooting somebody, to getting killed in jail a few months later. People need to slow down and think rationally instead of acting emotionally. It's always the unintended consequences. Things rarely go as planned. People need to stop and think about how things may go when they go awry.

  • John

    Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, Ya, Dont DO IT. Dont go to bed with no price on your head, Ya, DONT DO IT