Two Wise County inmates indicted for attempted murder charges

Two Wise County prisoners face attempted murder charges after authorities said they attempted to kill corrections officers in two separate incidents.

A grand jury recently returned indictments against Kashaun M. Ricks, 22, an inmate at Red Onion State Prison, and Derwin A. Osbourne, 45, an inmate at Wallens Ridge State Prison.

Ricks was indicted on charges of assault and battery of a corrections officer, possession of a weapon by a prisoner and attempted murder of a corrections officer, following an incident reported on March 3, 2015. The indictment says Ricks attempted to kill Corrections Officer Skyler White.

Osbourne faces four counts of assault and battery of a corrections officer, one count of possession of a weapon by a prisoner and two counts of attempted murder of a corrections officer.

His indictment states that Osbourne attempted to kill Corrections Officer Bradley C. Salyers on Oct. 6, 2015. Victims of the assault and battery are listed as Salyers, Steven Taylor, Larry Bryant and Jason Johnson.

Both indictments say the two were in possession of a “knife, instrument, tool, or other thing not authorized by the Virginia Department of Corrections.”

Wise County is home to the two state supermax prisons. Any incident reported at Red Onion or Wallens Ridge is investigated and prosecuted in the county.

County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Slemp declined to provide details about the incidents Thursday, but said “homemade weapons” were used.

“These were reports that came straight from the prisons,” Slemp said. “They are internal prosecution reports. The Department of Corrections issues a prosecution report and sends it to me.”

He explained that the DOC investigates and provides reports for the commonwealth’s attorney.

“The officers will come and testify to the grand jury and eventually this information would be handed over to the defense attorney and made part of the public file,” Slemp said.

According to the DOC, Ricks was scheduled to be free in 2018 on charges in Suffolk, Virginia. He remains in custody at Red Onion.

Osbourne’s current whereabouts were not available Thursday.

A recent Wise County grand jury also indicted other Red Onion and Wallens Ridge prisoners on various charges, including drug possession and assault.

The attempted murder of a corrections officer charge has a punishment range of 20 years to life in prison and the other charges have sentences of up to five years in prison.

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