Man accused of stomping cellmate to death at Florida jail

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says attack was unprovoked

John Smith
John Smith (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – In an unprovoked attack, an inmate stomped his cellmate in the head, ultimately leading to the man’s death, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said 36-year-old John Smith and 40-year-old Shaun Seaman were in a shared cell at the jail in Frostproof on May 13, when the attack occurred.

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Around 7:40 p.m. that evening, a guard was conducting checks in the medical dorm used to house inmates on suicide watch when he noticed Seaman lying face down and not moving, records show.

Authorities said the corrections officer asked another inmate to lift Seaman’s arm and when he did, that exposed the fact that there was a pool of blood under Seaman’s head.

Seaman, who was unconscious, was taken to an area hospital to be treated for swelling and bleeding in his brain as well as a swollen eye, according to the report.

Seaman died May 13 and an autopsy conducted Monday determined he suffered blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in a skull fracture and multiple contusions to his brain, records show.

Deputies didn’t give further details about the attack, other than saying Seaman was “severely stomped” by Smith.

“The investigation showed that Smith, unprovoked, stomped Mr. Seaman causing his death. We are looking forward to the criminal justice system holding Smith responsible for the murder of Shaun Seaman. Our prayers are with Mr. Seaman’s family,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Smith is facing a first-degree murder charge.

He’s also accused of attacking another inmate that day by standing over him and placing his foot on the man’s neck. Charges are pending in that incident.