Inmate accused of starting fire at Lee County jail

An inmate is accused of starting a fire at the Lee County Adult Detention Center Tuesday morning.

Posted: Oct. 31, 2017 9:17 PM
Updated: Oct. 31, 2017 9:18 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- An inmate is accused of starting a fire at the Lee County Adult Detention Center Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Jim Johnson says there were 20 inmates inside the housing unit when the fire broke out around 5:30 a.m.

Johnson says Rico Lyons used a mattress as protection after setting the fire and janitorial equipment as a weapon to prevent staff from entering the unit.

The housing unit was on lockdown for five hours.

The sheriff adds that 50 inmate beds now can't be used due to damage and security reasons.

Lyons was booked into the Lee County jail on Monday for threatening police officers and possession of a firearm charges from Verona police. Chief J.B. Long said at the time Lyons suffered from a mental illness.

Now, the sheriff has charged the inmate with second degree arson and six counts of assault on a correction officer.

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