Lee County

Inmate gets 2 more years in prison for assaulting local corrections officers

An inmate already at Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap will serve two more years in prison after he assaulted three corrections officers in February 2016.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp, 27-year-old Rusty Lee O’Neal of Keysville, Virginia pleaded guilty to three counts of felony assault and battery of a corrections officer Wednesday.

Officers said they saw O’Neal throw a laundry bag into another cell. When they approached O’Neal to question him, he became disruptive and cursed at the officers. O’Neal then hit one officer in the face and head and kicked two others. He appeared to be drunk during the attack and was found to be in possession of a homemade alcoholic beverage.

O’Neal is currently serving sentences from convictions in Prince Edward County, Virginia Beach, and Danville. His prior convictions include malicious wounding and assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, and multiple probation violations.

“No job is more dangerous or more thankless than that of a correction officer,” Slemp said.  “These brave men and women work long hours, in tough and stressful conditions. Their role in keeping our community safe is vital and so important. We want to thank all corrections officers for their public service and my office will continue to aggressively prosecute crimes against all law enforcement officials.”


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