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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — A Morgan County Corrections Officer is recovering after being attacked by a federal inmate inside the jail this week.

Officer Kathy Evans was punched twice by a federal inmate Monday afternoon, causing a concussion, contusions around her eye and mouth, and bruising on her back, head and arms.

“Dinnertime, which in jail is about 4:30 on Monday, meals were being distributed in the federal housing pod,” said Mike Swafford with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. “One of our female corrections officers was standing there overseeing the process when a federal inmate asked about wanting to go get a smoke break.”

Officer Evans told the inmate he could take one after mealtime.

“He apparently did not like that answer,” said Swafford. “Walked up on her. She gave commands for him to step back and then he quickly sucker-punched her twice to the head.”

Lemond Lawerence Burns, 22, of Alpine, was charged with second-degree assault for the attack, but this is not his first violent charge. He has both state and federal charges as well.

Swafford said Burns’ federal charge is related to fraud and he is also charged with murdering a 22-year-old Alabama A&M student in January. Even though he’s facing federal charges, he’s being housed in the Morgan County Jail for the time being.

“The federal agencies don’t have jails everywhere so they contract with county jails that have the space and can meet the standards to house their inmates here,” said Swafford. He adds that these are normally people facing trial. Once they are sentenced, they are moved to a federal prison.

Burns will not face the assault charge for punching Officer Evans until after all other sentences are served.

In the meantime, Officer Evans is recovering. She spent several hours in the hospital Monday afternoon before being released that night. Swafford said Tuesday, she spent much of the day in doctor and dentist appointments.

Swafford said Officer Evans has received cards, notes and phone calls of appreciation.

“Our Correction Officers are unsung members of our team. They serve in a $13 an hour position, spending more time in jail then many of our inmates. This was a cold, unwarranted attack with no remorse.  We hurt with Officer Evans who is a model officer, is active in her community and has a heart for serving. This event is a reminder of their true value to our community. ”

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office