- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - One inmate was killed and seven others injured during what authorities called a gang fight at a jail outside Jackson.

Sheriff Tyrone Lewis said three inmates remain hospitalized Tuesday but provided few other details on the case that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into. The sheriff met with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors Tuesday in a closed meeting.

The board later declared an emergency at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond, which allows the county to speed up money to repairs by bypassing some bidding requirements. The board also ordered the purchase of new radios for jail staff and improved camera systems to monitor inmates.

The fights were at noon and 5 p.m. Monday. Ambulances came in and out throughout the evening, picking up injured inmates. No jail personnel were injured.

Lewis said the dead inmate was found when officers entered the jail after things had calmed down.

“We still believe it was gang-related,” Lewis said.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart identified the inmate who died as 21-year-old Markuieze Sherod Bennett. She said Bennett appeared to have suffered severe head trauma and an autopsy is being conducted at the state crime lab in Jackson.

Lewis said flaws in the aging facility and the large number of inmates - 212 - in the pod contributed to the fights. Lewis said the weapons were mostly makeshift knives that inmates fashioned out of available materials.

In 2012, one of the three pods at the jail was destroyed by inmates after a disturbance that lasted about 10 hours.

Board of Supervisors President Darrel McQuirter said the other two pods also were damaged. He said the county will look into opening the destroyed pod that is being repaired.

McQuirter said the county is looking into the possibility of building a new jail. He said the problems aren’t related to management, but tothe age and the jail’s condition.

Lewis said 70 inmates had been moved to the jail in Madison County, north of Jackson. He said the others were split among the Raymond jail, a work center and the downtown Jackson jail.

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