- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Court of Appeals is upholding an inmate’s conviction in an attack on two prison guards.

Jemarcus Curry was being held in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility on June 20, 2014, when court records show he punched two guards in the face as they tried to clear a hallway.

Court records show that one of the guards, Georgia Shelby, testified she tried to clear the area by ordering 35 to 40 inmates to line up facing a wall. She testified that all obeyed except Curry and one other inmate.

Shelby, now a deputy warden at the prison, testified that she touched Curry’s shoulder and told him to get out of line.

Curry punched her in the face five or six times and then began kicking her,” the appeals court records show. “Shelby testified that Curry broke her glasses and that she suffered a contusion to her forehead and additional bruising.”

As guards struggled to subdue him, Curry hit one of them, Leon Shields, in the eye, court records show.

Curry testified that he was trying to defend himself as guards hit him.

Curry asked the appeals court to overturn his 2015 conviction on two counts of simple assault on a law enforcement officer. He argued that a circuit judge should not have allowed prosecutors to question him about his prior disciplinary violations in prison.

The appeals court on Tuesday rejected Curry’s request and let the assault convictions stand.

Curry testified on direct that he was ‘scared’ and ‘in fear’ of the guards because he claimed that he had seen them assault inmates many times in the past,” the appeals court wrote. “The fact that Curry had been cited several times previously for making lewd gestures at the guards, threatening them, and even throwing things at them tends to rebut his claim that he was scared and in fear of being assaulted by them. Thus, the prior incidents were relevant and admissible.”

Mississippi Department of Corrections records show Curry, 25, is in the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. He originally was imprisoned on drug convictions from Warren County.

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