Robert Owens, Derrick Swanson and Daniel Powell
Three inmates face additional charges after allegedly attacking a Kingsport child rape suspect on Thursday afternoon.
According to a police report, the assault occurred as the four men were in a holding cell awaiting appearances in Kingsport court, with one suspect saying they were motivated by the charges of sex crimes against a child.
Robert Owens, 35, of 5278 Orebank Road, Daniel Powell, 22, of 219 Mt. Andrews Private Drive, and Derrick Swanson, 34, of 181 Shadyview Road, were charged in the incident.
A Sullivan County Sheriff's Office arrest report identifies the victim as Michael Bear, 25. He was arrested last Wednesday by Kingsport police on one charge of rape of a child.
Bear was in a holding cell with the three suspects, all of whom were awaiting appearances in Kingsport General Sessions Court. An officer reports that while observing a screen that allows police to view the cell, someone "covered the camera," preventing him from seeing what was occurring inside.
When the officer went to the cell door, Owens was observed holding Bear around the neck, while Powell was hitting Bear in the face. Swanson reportedly ran away from the skirmish and sat down.
Interviews with the inmates allegedly revealed Swanson was also striking Bear, with the men attacking, "because of his charges." Police say Bear didn't sustain any serious injuries.
Each of the other three inmates were charged with simple assault.
Owens was originally arrested by the SCSO on Oct. 26 on charges of drug possession, assault, failure to appear and violation of probation. Powell was booked into the Kingsport jail Sept. 24 on charges of credit card fraud, ID theft and theft from a building. Swanson was arrested Sept. 20 and charged with driving while suspended and assault.