Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced two inmates have been charged in an incident that led to a fire at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on Wednesday. Skylleur Hayes (B/M, D.O.B. 11/16/91) and Jovonta Johnson (B/M, D.O.B. 02/01/93), both of Thibodaux, were booked on new charged following the incident.
At around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, inmates alerted correctional officers at the jail about a fire on one of the cell blocks. After moving the inmates on that block to another area of the jail, officers found the source of the fire to be a smoldering blanket. Officers used a fire extinguisher on the blanket and removed it from the facility.
Due to smoke spreading throughout the jail, inmates were evacuated to the jail recreational grounds directly outside the facility. Patrol deputies and officers from the Thibodaux Police Department arrived on scene to assist in the handling and supervision of inmates. The Thibodaux Volunteer Fire Department responded to h scene and utilized large fans to help clear the smoke from the facility. At around 8:30 p.m., the building was deemed safe for everyone to return. Officers led the inmates back inside the jail to repopulate the cell blocks. There was no damage to the facility.
Then on Thursday, March 28, detectives began an investigation of the incident. Through investigation, detectives learned Jovonta Johnson, an inmate of the block in which the fire was set, had beaten another inmate in that block the day prior to the fire. Then, that same inmate was approached by Hayes on the day of the fire, and Hayes told the inmate to cover a security camera or he would be subject to another beating. Detectives learned the inmate did, in fact, cover the camera, and after doing so, Hayes allegedly set the blanket ablaze. It is believed Hayes produced the blaze by sticking a metal object surrounded by toilet paper into a power receptacle.
Hayes was serving a 30 day sentence for contempt of court, and was also being held in lieu of $10,000 bond due on a probation violation from Thibodaux City Court. He was booked with aggravated arson and simple assault from this incident, and his bond has increased to $115,000. Johnson, meanwhile, was serving a 90-day sentence stemming from two charges of contempt of court, as well as disturbing the peace and resisting an officer. He was also being held on $350,000 after his arrest in February for armed robbery and aggravated second degree battery. He was charged with simple battery stemming from this incident, and his bond amount is now set at $355,000.