MADISON — A Pierce man who was already facing four felony charges in district court is accused of felony assault following an alleged jail altercation last month.
Troy Chaney, 40, had a single charge of assault by a confined person filed against him by the Madison County Attorney’s Office on Oct. 25 after he allegedly punched another inmate repeatedly in his cell.
According to a probable cause affidavit, 39-year-old Andrew Allen reported to jail control employees that he had been assaulted just before the jail’s lockdown on Oct. 17. Allen reportedly was not bleeding, but an investigator said he noticed that Allen’s neck and the back of his head were red.
Allen told the investigator that there had been words exchanged about another inmate’s case. After words were exchanged, Allen said he went up to his cell to avoid getting into any trouble.
After Allen went to his cell, he said, another inmate who was later identified as Chaney walked up a flight of stairs, entered his cell and started punching him in the head. Chaney then walked back down to his own cell just before lockdown, according to Allen.
The investigator then asked Chaney about the incident and read him his Miranda rights, which Chaney waived.
The Pierce man said Allen and a man identified as “Inmate 3” had been “having words” before lockdown. According to Chaney, Allen had told Inmate 3 that his parents committed suicide because Inmate 3 was “a little (expletive).”
The Pierce man said Inmate 3, his cousin, and the inmate’s parents whom Allen was referring to were Chaney’s aunt and uncle. After Allen had gone upstairs to his cell, Chaney followed him up the stairs and repeatedly told him to stop picking on Inmate 3.
Chaney said he had never gone to Allen’s cell and followed him up the stairs only because he “had enough.”
The investigator then spoke to Inmate 3 about the incident. Inmate 3 said Allen had been talking about his case and that each of the inmates who were around at the time were tired of listening to Allen.
Inmate 3 reportedly verified that Allen had been talking bad about his parents being deceased. He said Chaney also had stepped in and told Allen to leave the inmate alone before following Allen up a flight of stairs.
But Chaney’s statement that he never entered Allen’s cell didn’t align with the story of Inmate 3. The man said Chaney had gone to Allen’s cell and confronted Allen. Inmate 3 said he witnessed someone punch at Chaney and saw Chaney punch back.
The investigator was able to obtain video of the alleged incident after speaking with all three subjects. He observed the three subjects in the same commons area and noticed Allen and Inmate 3 having a heated conversation.
Allen, according to the affidavit, could then be seen leaving the area for his cell, while Chaney and Inmate 3 engaged in a discussion in the commons area. Chaney could be seen on video walking up a set of stairs and exchanging words with Allen.
Chaney then started walking back toward the stairs before turning around and approaching Allen’s cell. The investigator reported that he saw Chaney walk into Allen’s cell and exit a short time later. Surveillance footage did not capture what happened inside the cell.
The assault is a Class 3A felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison. Chaney also is facing separate charges of possession of methamphetamine, terroristic threats, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and attempted first-degree arson. Between his five charges, Chaney faces 1 to 75 years in prison.
In court Monday, Chaney appeared before Madison County Judge Donna Taylor alongside his attorney, Michael Moyer.
Moyer motioned to continue Monday’s hearing so he and Chaney could decide whether to exercise Chaney’s right to a preliminary hearing or waive that hearing, which would bind his case over to the district court. Moyer also cited a need to assess Chaney’s pending district court cases.
Chaney’s bond in the assault case had previously been set at $20,000, with 10% required for release. Moyer requested for bond to be cut in half on Chaney’s behalf, calling the purported assault “run-of-the-mill, given the circumstances.”
Joe Hurd, deputy Madison County attorney, didn’t oppose a reduction.
“Is (the alleged victim) Mr. Allen, Mr. Moyer? I don’t object to $10,000 — 10%.”
Chaney is scheduled to appear next in county court on Tuesday, Nov. 30. His next district court hearing is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3.