Four Pasquotank inmates charged with first-degree murder

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Four inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in a failed breakout at the Pasquotank prison last week.

A joint news conference was held Friday morning in Pasquotank County — where officials announced the charges against Wisezah Buckman, Seth Frazier, Mikel Brady and Jonathan Monk.

Two prison employees died and several others were injured Oct. 12, after inmates started a fire at the prison’s sewing plant. Several inmates attempted to escape following the fire, but officials said no inmates left the prison yard.

Justin Smith, a 35-year-old correctional officer and Veronica Darden, a 50-year-old correction enterprises manager, were identified as the two people killed.

Two workers remain hospitalized with injuries from the incident. Another correctional officer who was injured, George Midgett, was released from the hospital earlier this week.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Randy Cartwright said Friday, “It wasn’t long before we had these four (inmates) in custody.”


ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — A joint news conference is being held this morning in Pasquotank County — where officials are expected to provide an update on a failed breakout at the county’s prison.

Officials are expected to discuss an ongoing investigation into the incidents, as well as resulting criminal charges.

Two prison employees died and several others were injured Oct. 12, after inmates started a fire at the prison’s sewing plant. Several inmates attempted to escape following the fire, but officials said no inmates left the prison yard.

Justin Smith, a 35-year-old correctional officer and Veronica Darden, a 50-year-old correction enterprises manager, were identified as the two people killed.

Justin Smith, left, and Veronica Darden, were killed in an incident Oct. 12 at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution. Officials said inmates started a fire in a sewing plant. Several inmates tried to escape after the fire was started, but were unsuccessful.

Two workers remain hospitalized with injuries from the incident. Another correctional officer who was injured, George Midgett, was released from the hospital earlier this week.

The news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Stay with WAVY for coverage.

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