DANE COUNTY, Wis. - A Dane County homicide suspect is facing new charges after trying to strangle a deputy while in full restraints. It’s raising questions again about the safety of the jail.
Curtis Langlois, 37, allegedly told deputies he had nothing left to lose before the Monday night incident.
"If he is actually guilty and he’s looking at a life sentence, he probably doesn't have much that he’s looking forward to," Chief Deputy Jeff Hook of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said.
Langlois is in jail on first-degree intentional homicide charges stemming from the Aug. 2 shooting death of Kendrith Young. He's now facing new charges after attacking one of three deputies moving him back to his cell on the seventh floor of the City County Building jail.
The sheriff’s office said that while in the elevator, Langlois wrapped his handcuffed hands around the deputy’s neck until she and two other deputies were able to regain control. He’s charged with of resisting, battery to a law enforcement officer and strangulation.
A criminal complaint shows Langlois threatened the woman on Sept. 4. He told her he was going to kill her numerous times saying, "I'm not just gonna kill you, I'm gonna snap your neck," according to the criminal complaint. He's facing a count of fhreat to a law enforcement officer.
This most recent incident at the jail shows highlights the dangers deputies face, especially in an outdated facility.
“It’s a 60-year-old jail,” Hook said. “It was built in a different era with a very different model in mind.”
Hook said the issue of moving inmates floor-to-floor for visitations won’t be fixed by the proposed $75 million plan that consolidates Dane County’s three facilities, adding four floors to the Public Safety Building and closing the CCB jail.
“If we are going to move people from their housing unit to a point of visitation, there will still be some risk in that,” Hook said. “That’s one of the challenges of the visitation as it sits right now in the CCB because we have video visitation options in [the Public Safety Building]. So if we had somebody of that risk level where we had multiple visitation options, we could say, 'OK, you’re not going to be transported to visitation anymore.'"
Right now, visitation options are contact, non-contact and video.
But Hook said in the proposed plan, deputies would be in the housing unit with inmates as opposed to being in an office down the hall like they currently are, something that could solve many safety issues.
"They’ll have a better sense of who [the inmates] are, how they’re acting, who they are today, what their mood is today,” he said. “And be able to better assess the risk of moving them anywhere.”
The County Board’s Public Protection Judiciary Committee unanimously agreed to move forward with the $75 million jail plan. A final vote on the budget is set for November.
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