By Chad Clem
NORTON - Two Tygart Valley Regional Jail inmates are each facing a hate crime charge after an altercation that resulted in the injury of another inmate, police said.
James Wilson Falls, 27, and Justin Nathaniel Cole, 24, were arrested Thursday, each on one count of violations of an individual's civil rights/hate crime, a felony. Falls and Cole were arraigned by Magistrate George M. Riggleman, who set bond for each man at $25,000 cash or surety.
The West Virginia State Police received a complaint on Jan. 4 involving inmates at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, according to the official criminal complaint.
Trooper D.R. Wolford, the investigating officer, spoke with a correctional officer at TVRJ who told him the alleged victim, Daryl Goodall, "was attacked... by two other inmates identified as James Falls and Justin Cole," according to the criminal complaint. The guard also told Wolford that Goodall reported he had been called various racial slurs and threatened many times by other inmates.
In Goodall's statement to police, he said that he went to use the restroom in his cell when Falls ran downstairs, entered his cell and started physically attacking him. Goodall said a second male, identified as Cole, started making racially offensive statements. Goodall said he reported the incident on the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) telephone, requested to be moved and attempted to call his family, but received no answer, according to the criminal complaint.
Goodall told police that he attempted to go back to his cell "when a group of people... stood in front of his cell" and continued to yell racial slurs at him, preventing him from entering his cell. Goodall said he was eventually able to enter his cell but Cole "began physically attacking" him, including "headbutting him" and "giving him a black eye," the complaint states.
Goodall told police that once the incident was over, he attempted to call the PREA hotline and his family again, made contact with a correctional officer and was moved to another section of the prison, according to the complaint.
Wolford was able to observe Goodall's injuries, including "dark black bruising around his right eye," as well as photographs of the injuries of Falls and Cole, that included "minor abrasions consistent with hand marks on their arms and back," the complaint reads.
Wolford wrote that he also viewed video surveillance that "corroborates the victim's statement entirely."
Contact Chad Clem by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.