A man released last week from prison is back in custody after two new cases were filed involving separate alleged assaults on prison staff at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre late last year.
Wesley Heflin, 31, is facing four new charges in two cases filed in St. Francois County last Monday. In both cases filed, the man is charged with violence against a Department of Corrections (DOC) employee and armed criminal action.
According to a probable cause statement from the ERDCC, Heflin was being escorted into a cell just after 11 a.m. on Dec. 22, when the man began striking a corrections officer with an unknown object.
The report states two corrections officers secured Heflin on the wall, and the object fell to the floor. The object was removed from the cell, and a strip search was completed. Heflin was then secured in the cell.
The officer who was reportedly attacked retrieved the object and found that it was a prison-made weapon.
According to the statement, the officer sustained a cut on his abdomen during the attack. The weapon was processed as evidence and secured in the evidence locker.
In addition to the charges filed related to the alleged December attack, Heflin was also charged last week after an alleged assault in November.
A probable cause statement about the incident states that on Nov. 15, at 2:45 p.m., Heflin was in one of the facility’s dayrooms and struck an officer repeatedly in the head and upper torso with a metal handicap rail.
The report states two other officers entered the wing and directed Heflin to stop the assault. The man reportedly refused all directives and continued hitting the officer.
At that point, the report states, an officer administered a short burst of pepper spray, which struck Heflin on the back. The man became compliant, and an officer placed him in wrist restraints.
As a result of the reported assault, the officer involved was transported to Parkland Hospital in Bonne Terre and treated for injuries to his left wrist, left upper arm, left ear, and the right side of his face.
Court filings state Heflin was released from prison on Tuesday. The man was arrested on the new charges and booked at the St. Francois County Jail. A $25,000 cash-only bond has been set in both newly-filed cases.
According to court documents, Heflin has two previous 2013 convictions of endangering a corrections officer with bodily fluids. He was sentenced to three years in prison for one of the convictions and two years of incarceration for the other. Both sentences were ordered to be served consecutively for a total of five years.
Records show Heflin has multiple other prior convictions for crimes, including burglary, stealing, property damage, and possession of a weapon in jail/DOC.
Additionally, the man has pending charges of second-degree burglary, stealing a motor vehicle, and property damage in Crawford County.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org