Court documents filed Thursday shed more light on the death of an inmate who was brutally beaten inside the Tuscaloosa County Jail Tuesday.

According to the deposition, Investigators with the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit believe the incident began when the victim, 26-year-old Christopher Lee, and Laquinton Richardson, 22, got into an argument inside the jail around 9:40 Tuesday morning.

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Investigators said surveillance footage showed Lee lying in his bunk as Richardson "aggressively approached him."

Richardson then jumped onto Lee and the two began fighting. At one point both individuals were on the ground and Richardson could be seen striking Lee multiple times. Richardson then reportedly got to his feet and began kicking and stomping Lee before a detention officer attempted to break up the fight.

Lee was found unresponsive in the cell and was rushed to Tuscaloosa's DCH Regional Medical Center in critical condition suffering, trauma to his head and brain. He died at the hospital hours later.


Richardson told VCU investigators there was a history of friction between the two inmates, and Lee had said things that made him believe a confrontation was inevitable.

"[Richardson] also stated he walked over to Mr. Lee's bunk and started the altercation because Mr. Lee would have started it otherwise," police said in the deposition.

Richardson, who was originally jailed on two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and attempting to elude a police officer, was formally charged with manslaughter for the killing.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates on this case as they become available.

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