Crime

Miami-Dade jail officer charged with throwing scalding hot water on inmate

Former Miami-Dade jail inmate Joshua Wiggins shows second-degree burns he suffered after a corrections officer doused him with scalding water in August 2012.
Former Miami-Dade jail inmate Joshua Wiggins shows second-degree burns he suffered after a corrections officer doused him with scalding water in August 2012. Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

A Miami-Dade corrections officer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misdemeanor battery for throwing scalding water on an inmate at the county’s main jail.

Charlise Daniels-Wadley agreed to resign from the department, complete one year of probation and perform 50 hours of community service.

She was charged on Tuesday, and took the plea deal worked out in advance with the blessing of the inmate who suffered nasty second-degree burns on his chest.

Miami-Dade prosecutors say that in August 2012 Daniels-Wadley got into “an exchange of insults” with inmate Joshua Wiggins, who was awaiting trial for cocaine trafficking. At one point, she threatened to spray him with mace. Several minutes later, according to corrections investigators, Daniels-Wadley returned, opened the food flap of Wiggins’ cell and threw in hot liquid from a cup.

The burns on his chest caused intense pain for hours. According to investigators, Wiggins “repeatedly begged for access to medical care and a telephone.”

It was not until 6:30 p.m. that night that Wiggins, 21, called his sister to report what had happened. “He spent the rest of the night crying for medical help,” investigators said.

He was taken to a clinic the next morning – pointing out to officers that Daniels-Wadley, 28, was the person who attacked him. A doctor diagnosed him as having suffered second-degree burns; another doctor consulted by prosecutors estimated the water could have been as hot as 140 degrees.

Wiggins later pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking and served nearly two years in a Florida prison. He was released last month.

“We’re extremely satisfied with the State Attorney’s Office. They took the time, investigated and did the right thing,” said Wiggins’ attorney, David Kubilian, who said a civil lawsuit is being planned against the Miami-Dade’s corrections department.

It was unclear Wednesday if Daniels-Wadley had a defense lawyer.

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