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Elderly man injured in jail attack
Gabriel Michael Lawton
Gabriel Michael Lawton

A Bulloch County Jail inmate attacked two others last Thursday, sending an elderly man to the hospital with serious injury.

Around 4:45 a.m. Thursday, an investigator was informed of the earlier attack by jailers who reported inmate Gabriel Michael Lawton, of Northlake Drive in Statesboro, assaulted a 76-year-old man. During the course of the physical assault, Lawton also reportedly struck another inmate, age 58, according to Bulloch County Jail incident reports provided to the Statesboro Herald Tuesday after a request.

Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bill Black said it “sounds like the attack was pretty much unprovoked.” The 76 –year-old victim was taken by Bulloch County EMS to the hospital, where Black said he is recovering.

Lawton, 30, has been in the Bulloch County Jail since his Feb. 27 arrest by the Statesboro Police Department on charges of theft by shoplifting, cocaine possession and marijuana possession, according to jail records. Bulloch County Sheriff’s investigators charged Lawton Thursday with aggravated battery and two counts of riot in a penal institution – one count for the vicious attack against the 76-year-old victim and the other for “punching” the other victim during the attack, Black said.

Lawton was placed in solitary confinement and the case is still under investigation, he said.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.

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