Louisiana

Sheriff: 12 inmates charged after vicious jailhouse death

Twelve inmates in Louisiana are facing murder charges after a man who was jailed on a probation violation was beaten to death in what other inmates described as a "shark feeding frenzy."

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release the inmates were charged Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 30 killing of 40-year-old Tommy Smith inside the parish jail in Amite City, northwest of New Orleans.

The Independence man had been placed in a two-story dorm with 21 other inmates that day. Investigators say he was told by inmates on both floors he wasn't welcome. Authorities say Smith tried to notify a deputy but was attacked from behind, beaten and his shoes were stolen.

Eleven inmates are charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. A juvenile inmate is charged with being principal to second-degree murder.