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Deputy accused of allowing jail assault

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's jail deputy was arrested Wednesday after his colleagues say he facilitated a fight between two inmates, one of whom who was is accused of first-degree murder.

Derrick Antonio Daniels, 38, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, where he's assigned as a detention deputy.

At Daniels' first appearance court Wednesday afternoon, Circuit Judge Krista Marx ordered he be held in lieu of $17,000 bond. Daniels, who has been a deputy since 1994, is charged with tampering with evidence, culpable negligence, aggravated battery and three counts of official misconduct. He was placed on paid leave.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Daniels on Dec. 12 released inmate Taurus Turnquest, 34, of Riviera Beach, from his cell and allowed him to enter the cell of Lajuane Dunnaway, 36, of West Palm Beach, so Turnquest, who had been threatening to kill him, could attack him.

The inmates were confined in the Special Confinement Management Housing section of the jail and were not supposed to have contact with each other.

Turnquest grabbed Dunnaway's pencil and stabbed him, causing back and neck wounds, and used a razor-like object to slash his neck, shoulders and arms.

After the fight, Daniels removed bed linens and other items with Dunnaway's blood on them from his cell.

Daniels did not report the incident and excluded it from the logs that he is required to keep as part of his duties, the affidavit states.

The next day, another deputy saw Dunnaway's wounds and let him go to the walk-in clinic.

After his court appearance, Daniel's attorney, Patrick McKamey, said he intends to aggressively defend his client.

Turnquest, charged with aggravated battery, refused to appear in court Wednesday afternoon. Palm Beach County Jail records show has been in jail since 2007 on premeditated first-degree murder and other charges.

Before that, records show he was in state prison from 1995 to early 1997 and from late 1997 to 1999, and from 2003 to 2005 on Palm Beach County convictions that include aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and drug sales.

Records show Dunnaway, who is in jail on battery charges, was in state prison from 1991 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2003 on charges that include battery on a state employee and battery on a law enforcement officer.

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