Pogline confined

Inmate undergoes surgery after assault


An inmate at the Moffat County Jail underwent oral surgery after he was assaulted by Steven Pogline, jail officials said.

The victim, Christopher Hahs, suffered a broken jaw.

"Plates and screws went into the victim's jaw," said Lt. Dean Herndon, the jail administrator. "They did major surgery."

Pogline already faces seven felony cases and is in custody on bonds totaling more than $1 million. Herndon said Pogline will be rebooked into the jail on a new charge of second-degree assault.

The fight occurred Monday afternoon, Herndon said.

Detention officers heard Hahs calling for help over the jail's intercom system. Hahs was asking for medical attention, Herndon said.

"We knew his jaw was broken," Herndon said.

No jail personnel witnessed the alleged assault, but the jail's video surveillance system recorded it, Herndon said.

"After reviewing the videotape, I know exactly what happened."

Herndon said there appeared to be a conversation between Hahs and Pogline. Hahs was seated when Pogline punched him twice in the face, Herndon said.

"The victim was sitting down and tried to ignore what was going on," Herndon said.

After the first two hits, Pogline went up the stairs that lead to the cells in the upper level of the pod. Then, Pogline descended the stairs and blind-sided Hahs with another blow to the face while the man was playing cards with other inmates, Herndon said.

"The third hit was the one that did the damage," Herndon said. Hahs was knocked off his stool onto the floor. He then called for help.

Jail officials locked all inmates in their cells and videotaped the crime scene, Herndon said.

Pogline is now "racked down," Herndon said. The jail's rack-down policy places an inmate in a locked cell 23 hours a day. Other inmates can spend most of the day in a common area inside the "pod." Each pod contains numerous individual cells.

Herndon said an inmate with a tendency to assault others "will remain racked down."

"Mr. Pogline will stay racked down for a long time," Herndon said.

None of the other inmates in the pod would sign a statement about the assault, Herndon said.

"That's kind of the inmate code back there. You don't snitch on each other," Herndon said.

Even without witness statements, Herndon said he thinks the case will be strong.

"The cameras and recorders did their job," Herndon said. "This should be a slam-dunk assault case, period." The videotape will be introduced as evidence in the case.

The assault will cost the jail more than $10,000. The bill could be as high as $20,000, Herndon said.

"We'll have to go to the commissioners and ask for supplemental funds," Herndon said.

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