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Candy Prompted Fatal Jail Fight, Sheriff Says

Posted May 30, 2007

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— A fight over candy led to the death of a Vance County inmate last weekend, the sheriff said Wednesday.

A detention officer found Charles Cleveland Dillard, 52, semi-conscious on the bottom bunk of his cell Saturday afternoon. Dillard was taken to Maria Parham Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Another inmate, Curtis W. Coley, 34, of 49 Ridge Path Lane, has been charged with second-degree murder in Dillard's death.

Vance County Sheriff Peter White said the inmates were fighting over candy. He placed some of the blame for the altercation on jail overcrowding, noting too many inmates are awaiting trial.

Coley was awaiting trial on charges of obtaining property by false pretense, misdemeanor larceny, second-degree trespass and failure to pay child support. Dillard had been incarcerated since Dec. 1, awaiting trial on charges of felony possession of stolen goods.

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  • No longer in NC May 30, 2007

    Vance county as with many places has a backlog of cases. This has exisited for many years. Not everyone can afford bail. It is ashame that this man was killed, worse beaten to death. Vance County has been an overcrowded jail for the 12 years I lived there. The previous Sheriff, Sheriff Breedlove and I am sure Sheriff White has asked for funding for a larger more updated facility, but the County commissioners said NO. But the county does have a nice new courthouse and library. The condition of the jail as also led to the numerous escapes from the jail.

  • ladyblue May 30, 2007

    Yelena I was sharing for the readers what conditions existed at this county jail, and not the luxury they commented on. I was also stating that I knew that rumors stated the dillard man had changed and gotten on drugs probably causing the theiving in the first place. and I was saying that vance county could do better with making the jail better since built in early 1900's. it's set up for a county population of 17,000 which now has increased to over 150,000= more criminals to house. What good are the fancy courthouse, police and sheriff's building they recently financed,if you can't put the criminals through the court system. Don't believe me, sit in vance county district and criminal court one day and you'll know why locally it's called kangaroo count. You're lucky if 4 cases get heard in a day. The crooked dwi lawyers postpone them forever until they get the judge who'll handle the case their way.

  • JustDontUnderstandPpl May 30, 2007

    lemmeaxeusumpin....really like your name!

    As for the comments re: this man waiting for trial, the court system is MADE for delays mainly BECAUSE of lawyers. If the client is guilty, the lawyers want things to be delayed in hopes that they can come up with some loophole in the system. If the client is not guilty...oh well it will be proven at some point.

  • anonemoose May 30, 2007

    Stop whining about his bond unless you personally know his prior history. He has a documented criminal past. How many times has he failed to appear before on charges where he had a bond? Maybe so many people have bailed him out before and gotten burned that they won't bond him out. Many perps also will stay in jail and not make bond so that when they do go to court, they will plead guilty and take credit for time served. Time spent in pre-trial confinement in much easier than time after a sentence has been ordered.

  • doinbizzness May 30, 2007

    IT MUST HAVE BEEN "DEATH BY CHOCOLATE"

  • lemmeaxeusumpin May 30, 2007

    I THINK IT WAS OVER A TOOTSIE ROLL....ROLL ...ROLL... TOOTSIE ROLL!!!!!!!!

  • sick of thugs 3 May 30, 2007

    "Yet, you can say his death is somehow deserved, warranted, expected? Perhaps you should reflect on your thoughts for a while. Start with this past Monday, "Memorial Day". Try to remember what we supposedly celebrate that day for."

    Memorial Day is not to remember a theif that is awaiting trial in the Vance County Jail. Memorial Day is a day that we honor and remember those who have served us in the Armed Forces. Get your holidays straight.

  • sick of thugs 3 May 30, 2007

    As I said earlier. Oh well.

  • houndsforme May 30, 2007

    Some of you people need to re-take the civics class they taught you in middle school... Of course I am assuming, perhaps erroneously, that you attended school up to that point. If you did attend, remember the part about "Innocent until proven guilty".

    From the article, "awaiting trial on charges of obtaining property by false pretense, misdemeanor larceny, second-degree trespass and failure to pay child support".

    No one deserves to die over a piece of candy for Pete's sake while awaiting trial in a jail. You have no idea what this persons history is. You have no idea what the circumstances around the charges are.

    Yet, you can say his death is somehow deserved, warranted, expected? Perhaps you should reflect on your thoughts for a while. Start with this past Monday, "Memorial Day". Try to remember what we supposedly celebrate that day for.

  • Krzyzewskiectomy May 30, 2007

    There is some sheer ignorance in this thread by people who have obviously never set foot in a jail outside of their TV sets, so lets clear a few things up. First of all candy is not contraband, inmates have commissary privileges where they can buy things like candy. Second, jails house both people awaiting trial and those who have been convicted and are serving 2 years and under (sometimes one depending on area). Work assignments are only given out to those inmates who have been convicted.
    Word is a privilege in prison, not a punishment. It allows a bit of freedom and some spending money. You do not have felony convicts working picking up trash on the outside, nor would you want to. Those are minimum custody jobs. The less crowding and the more things for inmates to do the less violence you have. For a CO like me, that is a good thing as I would like to come home to my family at the end of the shift. Remember, innocent people go to jail everyday, you are not immune.

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