August 24, 2021 – Washington County, WI – Homicide charges were filed today in Washington County Circuit Court against an inmate after an attack last week in the Washington County Jail.
Thirty-one-year-old George Telford of North Dakota was formally charged this afternoon with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide. These charges stem from a vicious, unprovoked attack that occurred on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, around 1:30 pm. The victim, a 23-year-old Washington County man, sadly succumbed to his injuries over the weekend.
The suspect had been in custody at the Washington County Jail since July 4 after he was arrested in a domestic abuse incident and was unable to post bail. He is also wanted by the State of North Dakota for another domestic abuse incident.
The victim had been at the jail for two days and was there on a probation hold through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
The suspect and the victim were being housed in the same medium security cell block with five other inmates at the time of the attack. None of the other inmates were involved or intervened in the attack. Washington County Correction Officers and medical staff responded to the cellblock after a corrections officer observed the assault taking place.
The officer immediately activated the emergency response protocol. This includes verbal instructions for all inmates in the cellblock to return to their cells and a subsequent lockdown, as well as the response of onsite medical personnel and additional correctional officers to the area.
West Bend Paramedics were also requested from the onset based on the nature of the injuries. The victim was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa with significant head injuries.
The case remains under investigation by Washington County Sheriff investigators.
Telford faces up to life in prison without parole, if convicted and is currently being held on a $750,000 cash bond.
On behalf of the entire agency, Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis would like to extend his thoughts and prayers to the victim’s family and friends as they mourn and process this terrible tragedy. “Our team is working tirelessly on the investigation in the interest of justice and providing some level of comfort to this family for what they have to endure. We appreciate everyone respecting the family’s privacy as they grieve.”
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