A Mississippi man accused of decapitating his mother with a butter knife last year also bit off an inmate’s nose and lips in 2015, according to a lawsuit.
Jaron Stubbs, 31, says in his lawsuit filed earlier this month that he’s undergone multiple rounds of plastic surgery to repair his mutilated face. Still, every time he looks in a mirror, he suffers syndromes of post-traumatic stress disorder, the suit says.
Four years ago, the suit says, Stubbs was held in the Stone County Correctional Facility in the same unit as Terelle Johnson, who at the time was charged with a crime unrelated to his mother’s death.
On June 29, 2015, Johnson assaulted Stubbs and bit off his nose and a portion of his lips, the lawsuit alleges.
Corrections officers and medical staff rushed Stubbs to a local hospital, but he was “so badly maimed” that he could not be treated there, the suit says.
From there, an ambulance took Stubbs to a hospital in Jackson, about an hour away. Again, doctors said Stubbs’ wounds were beyond their capability to treat. A third hospital, who had a doctor specializing in these types of injuries, admitted Stubbs and he underwent emergency surgery the next day, the lawsuit says.
The whole time, Stubbs’ nose was held on ice in a container, according to court documents.
Stubbs remained hospitalized for seven days after the surgery, court documents say. Despite treatment, he remains “physically deformed in his frontal face, nose and lips.”
After the alleged assault, Stubbs was transferred to a different detention center, the lawsuit says.
Stubbs said he told authorities in 2015 that he wanted to press charges against Johnson, but Johnson has not been prosecuted for the alleged assault.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because Stubbs was held in Stone County on federal charges. A spokesperson said the bureau does not comment on pending litigation.
A message left with the warden of the Stone County Correctional Facility was not immediately returned.
Stubbs is now a prisoner at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Oakdale, Louisiana. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to possession with intent to distribute crystal methamphetamine.
Johnson’s criminal history and recent indictment in his mother’s death
In May 2015, a month before the alleged assault took place, Johnson failed to stop his vehicle when law enforcement tried to pull him over.
Wiggins police officers confronted Johnson at a gas station after they received a complaint of someone stealing gas, the Stone County Enterprise reported. Johnson led police on a chase that ended in a standoff. Eventually, he surrendered and was treated for self-inflicted knife wounds.
In 2016 he pleaded guilty, according to the Stone County Enterprise. His sentence, five years in prison, was suspended for three years of probation.
Johnson’s former probation officer told the Stone County Enterprise that she had tried to get Johnson sent to prison, but the state did not follow her recommendations.
In January, Terelle Johnson was charged with killing his mother, Sherry Johnson, a 51-year-old guidance counselor at Hattiesburg High School.
Deputies found Sherry Johnson’s body at her home while doing a welfare check. Her family was worried because they had not heard from her in a few days.
A captain with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office testified at Terelle Johnson’s preliminary hearing that the then 29-year-old confessed the morning after his mother’s body was found decapitated in her backyard, the Sun Herald reported.
An argument over credit cards led to a fight. Johnson reportedly said he choked his mother until she stopped breathing. Then he used a butter knife, his teeth and hands to cut off her head, according to the Sun Herald.
Court records indicate Johnson has received “substantial” psychiatric and psychological treatment in the past and suffered from chronic delusional disorder, schizophrenia spectrum and psychotic disorder.
A judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in September. The conclusion of the evaluation is not available on an electronic court records system.
Lawsuit: Officials failed to protect Stubbs from assault
The lawsuit alleges employees at the jail failed to keep Stubbs safe and were untrained to handle the assault. It also alleges that the Federal Bureau of Prisons isn’t doing enough to provide ongoing medical treatment and plastic surgery to Stubbs.
Stubbs alleges that jail staff were aware of Johnson’s mental illnesses and should have kept him in an isolated cell for past disciplinary problems. The lawsuit suggests Johnson was allowed to remain in “general population” — thereby posing a risk to other inmates — because he was allegedly related to a member of the Stone County Sheriff’s Office. The individual with the sheriff’s office was reached by the Clarion Ledger. He denied being related to Johnson and declined to answer further questions.
Stubbs says he’s in ongoing pain, suffers from emotional distress and continues to struggle with “humiliation, inconvenience, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.”
Stubbs’ last surgery was held on Oct. 15 and says his “face, nose and lips are not repaired yet to date.”
In his lawsuit, Stubbs asks to be paid $1.4 million in damages.
His release date, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website, is scheduled for October 2020.