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Sheriff: 12 inmates charged after 'vicious' jailhouse death

 Twelve inmates are facing murder charges after a man who was jailed on a probation violation was beaten to death last month.


The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the inmates were charged Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 30 killing of 40-year-old Tommy Smith inside the Tangipahoa Parish Jail in Amite City.


The Independence man had been placed in a two-story dorm with 21 other inmates that day, but investigators say he was told by inmates on both floors that he wasn't welcome. Authorities say Smith then tried to notify a deputy, but he was attacked from behind and fatally beaten.


Eleven inmates have been booked on counts of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. A juvenile inmate is charged with principal to second-degree murder.