Inmate assaulted in Tri-County

By Andrew Garrett -

Billy Lee Seagraves

Billy Lee Seagraves

Cory Ross Barthol

Billy Lee Seagraves, who recently turned down a deal of 20 years in the state penitentiary in exchange for a guilty plea on an attempted murder charge, was assaulted Thursday evening by another inmate incarcerated at Tri-County Regional Jail.

Seagraves, 31, of Springfield, appeared in Madison County Court of Common Pleas Thursday morning. He had previously been indicted on an array of charges, including one count of attempted murder and two counts of kidnapping, stemming from the Oct. 3 shooting of Brandon Gonzalez at 19 W. Fifth St. in London.

Some time between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., Seagraves was struck in the face with a meal tray with enough force to give him a nosebleed, according to Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabin.

The tray, which landed mid-bridge to Seagraves’ nose, was wielded by Cory Ross Barthol, 32, also of Springfield.

Barthol is currently being held in custody on two felony counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs (Oxycodone).

The two inmates have had an ongoing feud while in lockup, Sabin said.

As to what precipitated this isolated incident, Sabin could not comment.

The victim was transported and admitted into OSU Hospital where he underwent surgery to correct the damage inflicted by Barthol. He remained there until Sunday when he was brought back to Tri-County.

Seagraves, who had made threats of violence against prosecutor Nick Adkins while in custody, has had previous convictions including breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, and violation of a protection order — all in 2013.

He faces nearly 60 years in prison if found guilty of his various charges.

Seagraves’ trial is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 9 a.m.

The incident is under investigation by the Champaign County Sheriff Department.

Billy Lee Seagraves Lee Seagraves

Cory Ross Barthol Ross Barthol

By Andrew Garrett

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.

Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.