LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Paul Lynn Smith looked like he was in a daze. He was just staring off into space during his arraignment.
"It's an unfortunate situation and obviously we're responsible to run the jail," said Sheriff Maxey Cerliano with the Gregg County sheriff's department. "Unfortunately, this isn't the first staff member we've had charged since I've been sheriff. I would hope that it would be the last."
Court documents show that Decorian Maurice Allen, 22, of Longview says Smith assaulted him in the hallway by striking him in the face with his closed fist. It goes on to say that Allen had "visible signs of swelling over his eye," and that Smith held Allen "by his neck against the wall with one hand while striking him in the face with the other." After the alleged abuse Allen's family received frightening phone calls.
"Them inmates kept calling us and they said that he passed out and he was foaming at the mouth and so that scared me," said Maxine Johnson.
Allen's family said they recognize that he isn't a saint, but he still deserves justice.
"Even though he's been in trouble before, that's OK," said Suprena Allen, Decorian's mother. "He's a young man and I'm not saying he's perfect but still he deserves to be treated like a human being."
"It's something that's got to be done...because they...[are] just having their way with our children, you know, and it's not right," said Maxine Johnson, Decorian's grandmother.