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Sheriff's department to have independent review of security at Marathon Co. Jail


WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - The sheriff’s department in Wausau will have an independent panel review security practices at the Marathon County Jail.

That’s after an inmate allegedly attacked two corrections officers last Wednesday, when the officers said a cellblock would lose its canteen, TV, and phone privileges for not returning meal trays.

36-year-old deputy Julie Christensen was still in the intensive care unit Tuesday at a Wausau hospital.

Chief Deputy Scott Parks said she was punched in the face by 20-year-old Frederick Morris of Wausau, and she lost consciousness. Parks said 38-year-old officer Denny Woodward was then struck when he tried using pepper spray on Morris. Woodward was treated at the hospital and later released.

Morris has been jailed since February 1st on drug-related charges including the sale of cocaine. He was transferred to the nearby Lincoln County Jail in Merrill after the attack. A bond of $15,000 was set in the beating case, but charges in that matter have not been filed yet.

Parks said the jail’s video of the incident would be used against Morris.

A panel of local residents will suggest changes in the jail’s security procedures, but Parks said a couple things have been done already. Corrections officers now carry Taser stun guns, instead of the former pepper spray.