Two Polk County Jail inmates charged with murder of another inmate
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has charged two inmates with 1st-Degree Murder for their assault of another inmate at the South County Jail in Frostproof. The fight occurred Tuesday afternoon, April 7, 2020 in a maximum security dorm, for violent inmates and those with extensive charges.
30-year-old Shawn Holliday, Jr. suffered severe trauma to his head from the assault, and died from his injuries Wednesday afternoon at Lakeland Regional Medical Health Center.
The inmates charged are 20-year-old Brett Crosby and 41-year-old Christopher Jackson.
Homicide detectives interviewed detention personnel and jail inmates on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
Based on these interviews and other evidence, detectives have been able to determine the following:
At about 12:32 p.m., two detention deputies saw three inmates fighting on a second story walkway and ran to break-up the fight while ordering the three to stop fighting. All three suspects were seen actively participating in the fight, but at the moment detention deputies got closer, Crosby was seen stomping on the head of Holliday, who was lying on the floor.
Jail medical staff immediately arrived and tended to Holliday, who was airlifted to the Lakeland Regional Health where it was determined he suffered a severe brain injury.
Inmates told detectives that the fight was about Holliday owing food to Crosby. They said that Holliday would ask other inmates for food and was supposed to repay them with food later.
Detectives were told that Crosby confronted Holliday about the debt on Tuesday, and Holliday refused to repay his debt of food, so Crosby told Holliday he wanted to fight. Holliday was reported to have immediately sucker-punched Crosby.
A fight between the three started on the second floor walkway of the jail dormas a result of the fight, Holliday became unconsciousness on the floor. As he was unable to defend himself, Crosby began stomping on his head which led to injuries that were ultimately fatal.
Brett Crosby has been in the Polk County Jail since September 29, 2018, after being arrested and charged for Attempted 2nd Degree Murder (among other charges) for firing a rifle at other vehicles. His prior criminal history consists of 19 felony charges and 10 misdemeanors. Those charges include: Aggravated Assault (2), Vehicle Theft, Battery (2), Larceny, Escape, Resisting (3), Violation of Probation (12), and Possession of Methamphetamine.
Christopher Jackson has been in the jail since he was arrested in April 23, 2018 for Robbery and Burglary with Battery. His criminal history is made up of 53 felony charges and 19 misdemeanors. He has been in state prison eight times. His previous charges include: Homicide, Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, Home Invasion Robbery, Burglary (14), Vehicle Theft, Grand Theft (8), Arson, Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle, Hit and Run (3), Threatening a Public Servant, Possession of Burglary Tools (6), Battery, Resisting, Criminal Mischief, DWLSR (4), Contempt of Court, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, Violation of Probation (14), and Possession of Marijuana.
Shawn Holliday was arrested on March 30, 2020 for Burglary and Tampering with a Witness. His prior criminal history has 37 felony and 16 misdemeanors. He has been to state prison three times. His prior charges consists of Aggravated Assault (3), Battery (6), Robbery, Burglary (12), Vehicle Theft, Grand Theft (7), Escape (2), Dealing in Stolen Property (2), Assault (2), Obstruction, Criminal Mischief (2), Assault on LEO, False Info to LEO, Resisting (4), Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Violation of Probation (9) and Retail Theft.
The investigation is ongoing. It is standard PCSO policy for four separate, independent investigations on all inmate in-custody deaths. The PCSO completes a death investigation and administrative (internal) investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner conducts the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death. All the investigative findings are forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for their investigation and review.