Two inmates charged in Lafourche jail cell fire - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Two inmates charged in Lafourche jail cell fire

Updated:
Skylleur Hayes, 21, and Jovonta Johnson, 20 (LPSO) Skylleur Hayes, 21, and Jovonta Johnson, 20 (LPSO)

Lafourche Parish, La.- The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office says two inmates have been charged in an incident that led to a fire at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on Wednesday. 

Police say 21-year-old Skylleur Hayes and 20-year-old Jovonta Johnson, both of Thibodaux, were booked on new charged following the incident. 

Investigators say around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, inmates alerted correctional officers at the jail about a fire on one of the cell blocks and after moving the inmates on that block to another area of the jail, officers discovered the source of the fire to be a smoldering blanket. 

Officers used a fire extinguisher on the blanket to put out the fire and removed it from the facility.    

Due to smoke spreading throughout the jail, inmates were evacuated to the jail recreational grounds directly outside the facility. In addition, patrol deputies and officers from the Thibodaux Police Department arrived on scene to assist in the handling and supervision of inmates. 

The Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department used large fans to help clear the smoke from the facility and at around 8:30 p.m., the building was deemed safe for everyone to return. Officers led the inmates back inside the jail to repopulate the cell blocks. 

There was no damage reported to the facility.   

On Thursday, detectives began investigating the incident and learned Johnson, an inmate of the block in which the fire was set, had beaten another inmate in that same block the day prior to the fire. Then, that same inmate was approached by Hayes on the day of the fire, and Hayes told the inmate to cover a security camera or he would be subject to another beating.

Detectives determined the inmate did cover the camera and Hayes allegedly set the blanket ablaze. It is believed Hayes started the fire by sticking a metal object surrounded by toilet paper into a power receptacle. 

Hayes was serving a 30-day sentence for contempt of court, and was also being held in lieu of $10,000 bond due on a probation violation from Thibodaux City Court. He was booked with aggravated arson and simple assault from this incident, and his bond has increased to $115,000. 

Meanwhile, Johnson was serving a 90-day sentence stemming from two charges of contempt of court, as well as disturbing the peace and resisting an officer. He was also being held on $350,000 after his arrest in February for armed robbery and aggravated second degree battery. He was charged with simple battery stemming from this incident, and his bond amount is now set at $355,000.  

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