A convicted murderer at a Georgia state prison allegedly killed a correctional officer and assaulted another inmate at the facility on Sunday.
Officer Robert Clark, 42, was escorting two inmates from the dining hall at Smith State Prison when one of them, identified as Layton Lester, assaulted him from behind with a “homemade weapon,” the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a news release.
The other inmate, Marko Willingham, attempted to intervene to help Clark, but Lester assaulted him as well, according to the agency.
Clark and Willingham were both transported to local hospitals for medical attention. Clark died from his injuries at the hospital while Willingham remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The entire GDC team is mourning the loss of one of our own and we collectively express our deepest condolences to Officer Clark’s family and friends,” Commissioner Tyrone Oliver said in the release. “We will support them as they navigate this tragedy over the coming days, weeks and months.”
Clark began working at Smith State Prison in April, according to the GDC.
Lester now faces additional charges in connection with Clark’s death and the assault of Willingham. He was already serving a life sentence for a murder conviction stemming from a deadly armed robbery in 2007, according to jail records.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp expressed his condolences to Clark’s family and the GDC after the officer was pronounced dead.
“Today we join the public safety community in mourning the loss of Corrections Officer Robert Clark,” Kemp wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Please join us in praying for his family, loved ones, and the Georgia Department of Corrections at this time.”
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