A southern Indiana man convicted of punching a jail officer so hard it broke his jaw in three places has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Raymond J. Taylor II was convicted last month of felony aggravated battery as a habitual offender for the June attack at the Clark County Jail. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Gray said Friday that the jail officer was left with a permanent facial injury.
According to court records, two officers asked Taylor, 30, to stop sitting on a table in a jail commons area — a violation of jail rules — but the Jeffersonville man refused. As the officers confronted him, he punched one of them in the mouth, investigators said.
Gray said the punch broke three bones in the officer's jaw, which had to be wired shut for at least two weeks. The officer still has a plate and six screws in his jaw, he said.
Taylor's sister, Cassandra Taylor of Fort Wayne, said her brother could receive more prison time on other charges and she worries he might face what amounts to a life sentence. She said that would be a devastating prospect for her brother, who has a 10-year-old son and an infant daughter. She called her brother's 30-year sentence "extreme."
"Breaking somebody's jaw is a horrible thing to do, but 30 years is a very, very long time," she told the News and Tribune of Jeffersonville.
Gray said Taylor, who has a lengthy criminal record, could have avoided the sentence if he had only obeyed the officers' commands.
"But now we have a guard with a permanent injury that he'll always remember," the prosecutor said.