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Davison County corrections officer pleads not guilty to assault of inmate, trial date set

"Jail is absolutely supposed to be safe for the inmates," Harr said firmly. "There's no place for actions like this. It can't be tolerated and won't be tolerated."

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MITCHELL — A Davison County corrections officer accused of assaulting an inmate has pleaded not guilty and will head for a jury trial.

Isaac Tirrel, 29, of Fulton, was charged Dec. 23 with one count of simple assault following an alleged fight while he was processing an inmate at the Davison County jail.

Davison County Sheriff Steve Harr told the Mitchell Republic that on Dec. 8, Tirrel was assisting other jail staff book a "verbal" individual into the jail when Tirrel was momentarily alone with the victim.

"When it specifically happened it was just the victim and Isaac that were together. There were other officers that were probably 15 feet away," Harr said. "There’s one cell that we call the 'drunk tank.' It was in that cell that this took place."

Harr said the incident, which was captured on surveillance cameras that also record audio, was reported to him by corrections officers, and dealt with swiftly.

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"When this was brought to my attention it was dealt with immediately," Harr said. "Mr. Tirrel was immediately suspended from his duties."

The case was turned over to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and a warrant was issued for Tirrel's arrest on Dec. 23. He turned himself in Monday, posted $1,000 bond and was released. He has since been terminated.

In a Jan. 27 plea hearing, Tirrel pleaded not guilty to the charge. A trial date was set for March 21.

On March 9, Tirrel requested a continuance, switching the date of the trial to June 27.

Simple assault, according to South Dakota codified law , is committed by "intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person." Committing simple assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,000 fine.

"Jail is absolutely supposed to be safe for the inmates," Harr said firmly. "There's no place for actions like this. It can't be tolerated and won't be tolerated."

The victim did not require medical attention for her injuries.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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