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North Carolina man sentenced to over 17 years in prison for stabbing detention center guard

An Ahoskie man was sentenced July 21 to 210 months in prison for assaulting a guard at the Franklin County Detention Center with a 6-inch metal shank while in custody on pending federal charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. On April 28, 2021, Troy Lamont Powell, 32, also known as “Gutter,” pleaded guilty to the charges.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Powell was being held on federal drug and gun charges in the custody of the Franklin County Detention Center under contract with the United States Marshals Service.

“On December 30, 2019, a jail guard offered Powell some tissues when Powell struck the guard in the rib cage with a shank fashioned from metal,” stated the release. “The shank was later recovered from Powell during a search of his clothing. Powell continued to make threatening statements to other jail guards before being transported to another jail.”

United States Marshal Michael East stated: “Any type of assault on a law enforcement officer cannot be tolerated. This case is exceptionally egregious because the detention officer was just trying to assist Mr. Powell and the attack was completely unprovoked.”

“We will aggressively prosecute any federal inmate who has a weapon or who attacks a guard,” said Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III. “Such behavior is totally contrary to our system of justice and the rule of law.”

Acker made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) and the Kinston Police Department investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura S. Howard prosecuted.

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