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Suspect in attack on Richland jail guard was also charged in fatal Lee prison riot

·2 min read

A suspect charged in the deadly Lee Correctional Institution riot of 2018 was also charged in this month’s attack at the Richland County jail that injured two guards.

Derrick Rice, 31, was imprisoned at Lee Correctional, a state prison near Bishopville, until 2019 on drug charges, a background search showed. While imprisoned, he participated in the deadly mob assaults of rival gangs that killed seven and injured more than 20, police said. It was the deadliest United States prison riot in 25 years.

Rice was released from Lee after completing his sentence and was out of prison about a years, according to the background search. On Dec. 1, 2020, state agents jailed him at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County to await court proceedings on three fatal mob assault charges filed after the Lee riot.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department charged Rice with first degree assault and battery, kidnapping with hostages and rioting after an investigation into the Sept. 3 attack on Alvin S. Glenn guards.. The guards — a man and a woman — did not suffer life-threatening physical injuries but have sustained mental trauma, according to investigators.

Rice is said to have actually protected the female guard during the attack. In a video of the attack, some detainees hit the woman before Rice puts his arms around her, blocks further attacks and guides her out of the cell block.

Typically, people charged with an offense are jailed in the county where the crime occurred. Lee County shares a detention center with Sumter County, known as the Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.

If the state grand jury, which is located in Richland County, indicts a person, the indicted person is often, but not always, jailed in Alvin S. Glenn, according to Robert Kittle, spokesman for the SC Attorney General’s Office. The attorney general’s office is is prosecuting the Lee Correctional riot cases.

A search in the Sumter-Lee detention center’s online inmates listing showed that none of the Lee correctional riot suspects are jailed there.

Because the suspects in the Lee riot were said to be members of rival gangs, authorities may have wanted them in separate jails.

Michael Juan Smith, who was also charged in the Lee riot, is jailed at Alvin S. Glenn. His case is more complicated though.

He was in Lee Correctional after being found guilty of attempted murder for a 2013 Columbia shooting. But he was released after winning an appeal for his conviction. Now, he is jailed at Alvin S. Glenn on the charges stemming from the Lee Correctional riot and while he awaits court proceedings in the shooting. Smith was not part of the attack on the guards in Alvin S. Glenn.

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