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Jail website: Man accused of beating Dylann Roof released on bond

 
 
 
 
 
Dwayne Stafford mug (CCSO)

The man accused of attacking Dylann Roof in the Charleston County jail Thursday morning has been released on bond.

According to the Charleston County Detention Center, 26-year-old Dwayne Stafford was released shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday, just over 24 hours after a widespread call on social media to raise money for his bail and supply him funds on his commissary account.

Stafford, who was being held in the protective custody wing of the jail with Roof, is charged with armed robbery, assault, and drug possession. His bond was set at more than $100,000.

The news of Stafford's release comes a day after Roof and his appointed attorney said they have no plans to file charges against Stafford.

According to Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, the assault happened shortly before 8 a.m. as Roof was being escorted to the showers in Housing Unit 1B. Cannon says the two detention center guards had moved away from Roof, one to take a break and another to hand toilet paper to another inmate.

That's when detention center officials say 26-year-old Dwayne Stafford, a fellow protective custody inmate, ran down a flight of stairs and through a door that should have been locked so he could attack Roof. Jail records show Stafford is being held in the jail on assault, drug, and robbery charges from January 2015.

The attack was broken up by one of the detention deputies assigned to the housing unit.

Stafford hit Roof in the face and back, leaving him with bruises on his face and back, the report adds. Roof was checked out by jail medical staff and returned to his cell.

Cannon said the incident has led detention center officials to look at policies and processes in place at the jail and make sure that complacency is not becoming an issue.

"The very least, we have complacency -- for police officers and detentions officers it is one of the biggest problems we face," Cannon said.

The sheriff said they are also looking into how Stafford made it through what should have been a locked door, which means looking at the electronic locking mechanism.

"Stafford should not have been able to get through that door," he said.

It's all part of a larger internal investigation stemming from the incident.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Emanuel AME Shooting

Cannon said Roof did not provoke the attack, that it was by surprise. He also could not shed any light on Stafford's motivation.

He did say Roof did not fight back.

"I don't think that there was a back and forth fight, so to speak. He was protecting himself from blows," Cannon said.

Since Stafford's name was released, hundreds of people on Twitter have asked if there is a GoFundMe account to post bail for Stafford, or for a way to add money to his commissary account. Others have called Stafford a hero and declared he should be granted a shorter sentence for carrying out the attack.

Roof faces 33 charges in federal court, and nine murder and three attempted murder charges in state court for the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. Prosecutors in both courts are seeking the death penalty.

The federal trial starts in Novembers. His state trial will start sometime next year. It’s tentatively set for January.

We will update this story when more information becomes available.

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