Inmate beaten in Jefferson County jail after alleged attacker thought he was sharing information with police

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PINE BLUFF, Ark. – A Jefferson County inmate is recovering after authorities confirm he was attacked earlier this week.

“I have great concerns,” says the inmate’s mother Tanya Livingston.

Her son, 25-year-old Markeontis Smith, was attacked Tuesday night in the Jefferson County Detention Center.

“I received an anonymous call yesterday evening,” says Livingston.

She says someone, who called on a restricted number, seemed concerned and told her to check on her son.

“They were making me aware that something had taken place with my son, where he was attacked and they had to take him to the hospital,” says Livingston.

Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods says Smith suffered several fractures to his head and the inmate’s eye is swollen shut.

“They did tell me that he was, I guess he was trying to call for help and I’m not sure if it was ignored but they found him maybe 40 minutes to an hour later,” says Livingston.

Sheriff Woods says this was the first time he’s hearing of a possible delay in help but says the department is in the preliminary stages of an investigation.

“We need people not just to be there on the job but to do the job, to prevent it from happening. It could have been worse,” says Livingston.

Sheriff Woods says there is a witness to the attack and they have a suspect identified but officials are unable to release his name at this time. Sheriff Woods says the suspect could face second-degree battery charges.

Authorities say the fight could have sparked because the suspect thought Smith was sharing information with law enforcement.

“You expect something to happen outside of there like on the street,” says Livingston.

Smith returned back to the Jefferson County Detention Center Wednesday.

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