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Two indicted for Athens jail riot in which inmate was shanked

By Joe Johnson

Two inmates at the Clarke County Jail were indicted this week for rioting three months ago in the detention facility located off Lexington Road.

One of the inmates was accused of shanking a fellow prisoner.

Tyreek Amin Thomas, 20, of Creek Stone Court and Christopher Eli Gresham, 37, of Wood Lake Drive were each charged with unlawful acts of violence in a penal institution, according to the indictment that was filed Tuesday in Clarke County Superior Court.

Christopher Eli Gresham

Gresham was additionally charged with interference with government property, possession of prohibited items by an inmate, and aggravated assault, according to the indictment.

The indictment states the incident happened on Aug. 30, when Thomas threw several objects, including a trash can and cellphone over a guard station.

Tyreek Amin Thomas

During the disturbance, Gresham assaulted another inmate by cutting him with “a piece of metal commonly referred to as a shank,” the indictment states.

He also damaged a metal pipe bracket and “in a violent and tumultuous manner” used “threatening language toward other inmates while brandishing the shank, according to the indictment.

Gresham and Thomas were both in jail due to pending criminal cases in Superior Court.

According to police and court records, Thomas was one of three purported street gang members who in January allegedly committed a series of commercial armed robberies in the area of Gaines School and Barnett Shoals roads.

At the time, Thomas was free on bond from an arrest a month earlier for a drive-by shooting at the Columbia Brookside public housing complex off Hawthorne Avenue, according to records.

Gresham at the time of the riot had multiple charges of aggravated assault with a firearm pending in Superior Court.

He struck a plea bargain and on Nov. 1 was sentenced to five years in confinement and 15 years on probation, according to court records.

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