The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

July 16, 2014

Ex-Martinsburg QB says guard assaulted him at jail

MARTINSBURG — A former Martinsburg High School quarterback has filed a complaint alleging a correctional officer assaulted him at the Eastern Regional Jail.

Justin “Cookie” Clinton, 19, is being held at the jail on breaking and entering, grand larceny and other charges.

The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is investigating Clinton’s complaint alleging a correctional officer grabbed and injured his arm while he was waiting in line to get a haircut, The Journal reported.

The correctional officer has been placed on unpaid leave pending the investigation. He will return to work and receive back pay if the investigation determines the allegations are unfounded, Joe DeLong, the authority’s executive director, told the newspaper.

DeLong said the jail’s medical unit saw Clinton and determined he had no serious injuries.

“My understanding was that he went to the nurse’s station complaining of some type of discomfort as a result of playing basketball in the gym, and then a day or so after the fact he came back and filed a complaint about this alleged altercation between he and an officer. He alleges it took place prior to the basketball injury,” DeLong said.

Clinton’s mother, Abby Hairston, said he told her that a correctional officer twisted his arm. She said he did not mention any basketball-related injury.

“It just seems to me like someone there put their hands on him unnecessarily and sort of roughed him up unnecessarily. That’s what I was basically told by my son,” Harrison told the newspaper. “He said they were waiting to get haircuts done and the man came in and was sort of cussing at them ... and took a hold of Justin’s arm and injured him.”

Clinton led Martinsburg High to a state football championship in 2012.

He was in indicted in February by a Berkeley County grand jury. The charges include breaking into the high school twice and stealing cash and miscellaneous items, and fleeing the scene of a domestic incident and then forcing his way into a woman’s apartment, where he allegedly held her against her will.

Under a proposed agreement, Clinton agreed to plead guilty to one count of felony breaking and entering, one felony count of burglary, one misdemeanor count of breaking and entering of an automobile and one misdemeanor count of unlawful restraint. Prosecutors will recommend he be sentenced to two to 25 years in prison.

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