Inmate rips handgun from deputy inside Lauderdale County Courtroom

FLORENCE, Ala. - Authorities said it was a situation which could have turned deadly inside the Lauderdale County Courthouse Monday afternoon.

Monday’s afternoon docket in Judge Carole Medley’s courtroom was pretty standard. Five inmates were scheduled to have an initial appearance in District Court. While waiting to be called, deputies said Tommy Blevins became unruly.

Lt. Brad Potts, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office

Lt. Brad Potts, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office

“He became agitated, he was able to get out of his belly chains and ran towards a window that is in the courtroom and stated he was about to jump out the window,” Lt. Brad Potts with Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office explained.

Lt. Potts said the detention deputies were able to keep Blevins from getting to the window. While deputies had Blevins on the ground, Potts said things escalated to another level.

“During the struggle Mr. Blevins was able to rip the holster and gun off one of the detention deputies.”

According to Potts, Blevins never got the gun out of the holster. And after a few tense moments, Judge Medley was able to get Blevins to surrender the weapon.

“We’ll have to reevaluate our policies and be proactive on things and see what we can change to keep this from happening in the future,” stated Potts.

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Tommy Blevins (Lauderdale County Detention Center)

Blevins is now charged with disarming a police officer, assault and seven counts of menacing.

Tommy Blevins was in court for charges of criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and possession of a controlled substance. He remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center.