Former jail officer sentenced

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A former Western Tidewater Regional Jail correctional officer will spend a month in jail for assaulting an inmate in 2016.

Abdul Shabazz Wiggins, 44, was sentenced Monday to 12 months in jail with 11 months suspended and will be on unsupervised probation for two years following his release.

He also must take an anger management course and pay $10,750.42 in restitution, the judge ordered.

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The original charge of malicious wounding was reduced to assault and battery.

Wiggins had a bench trial in Suffolk Circuit Court on July 27. The incident happened at the jail on the evening of Nov. 5, 2016. Wiggins was terminated the following week for violations of jail policy and procedures, Superintendent William C. Smith said.

The victim, Gregory Lassiter, was 36 at the time. He needed surgery to repair a broken nose following the incident and also had a broken tooth removed.

He was in jail on charges of robbery, identity theft and credit card theft.

According to testimony at Wiggins’ trial, he struck Lassiter as the inmate started to walk through a door toward a nurse who was passing out medication.

Wiggins’ defense attorney said at trial that he carried out a defensive measure as Lassiter was about to walk through a secure door without permission.