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Florida inmate beaten to death over food debt, deputies say

Shawn Holliday died in fight at Polk County jail

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(iStock/allanswart)

BARTOW, Fla. – A Florida jail inmate was beaten to death over a food debt by two other inmates, officials said.

Shawn Holliday Jr., 30, suffered severe trauma to his head during a fight Tuesday at the Polk County jail and died Wednesday at a Lakeland hospital, the sheriff's office said. Brett Crosby, 20, and Christopher Jackson, 41, were charged Wednesday with first-degree murder, The Ledger reported.

Two detention deputies said they saw all three inmates fighting on a second-story walkway of a maximum security dorm for violent inmates. As they ran to break up the fight, they said Crosby was stomping on Holliday’s head.

Inmates told detectives that the fight was about Holliday owing food to Crosby. They said Crosby confronted Holliday about the debt, and Holliday refused to repay.

Crosby has been in jail since September 2018 on charges of attempted second-degree murder, among other charges, after authorities say he fired a rifle at vehicles. Jackson has been in the jail since April 2018 on charges of robbery and burglary with battery. Holliday was arrested March 30 on charges of burglary and tampering with a witness.