PORTSMOUTH- A former Scioto County corrections officer was found not guilty of the death of an inmate.
Billy Thompson, a corrections officer at the Scioto County Jail, has been found not guilty in the death of Kevin Bailey, an inmate that sustained severe injuries while incarcerated and later died at a hospital in Columbus.
According to court records, an autopsy revealed “complications of blunt force trauma to his head, neck and torso” to be the causes of death and was investigated by the BCI as a homicide. Bailey’s family alleged that a deputy picked him up upside down and slammed his head into the concrete floor several times, rammed his head into the door several times, and then after he was unconscious, dropped him to the floor and kicked him.
Jurors found Thompson not guilty of reckless homicide and murder Monday when a verdict was reached around 8:40 p.m. Thompson was originally charged with an additional charge, voluntary manslaughter, but the charge was dropped before the trial.
“It was a tough case and I think it took a toll on everybody involved, but in the end, I think a just result was reached,” Thompson’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, said. “I think the jury worked hard and got it right.”
In April 2021, Thompson appeared in court for his arraignment and pleaded not guilty. Scioto County Court of Common Pleas presiding Judge Howard Harcha heard from the defendant and the State of Ohio serving as the prosecution and set Thompson’s bail at $100,000 – which he posted later that day.
While Thompson has been found not guilty, Bailey’s family continues to fight for Bailey and justice.
“I just don’t understand how they can find him not guilty after all the evidence that was presented,” Bailey’s sister, Karen Skaggs, said. “Of all the injuries that were to my brother, my brother didn’t inflict those injuries on himself.”
Skaggs said she is considering her next steps of action to find justice for her brother and hopes one day she will. Since June 2020, Skaggs has asked why, how, and who caused her brother to die following the May 26, 2020, altercation.
“I just hope my brother knows that I really tried to get justice for him,” Skaggs said.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]
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