Oak Park Heights inmate pleads guilty for assault on correctional sergeant

Inside the maximum security wing of Oak Park Heights prison. (FOX 9)

The inmate at the Oak Park Heights correctional facility who attacked a correctional sergeant, resulting in the loss of vision in one eye, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

According to a press release from the Washington County Attorney's Office on Friday, Dominique Jefferson, 37, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault after a confrontation with a correctional sergeant in January 2023. Jefferson was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison, where he has been since 2005 for abiding and abetting second-degree murder. His 15-year sentence will begin after his current prison term is up. 

Court documents say on the morning of Jan. 15, Jefferson said he wanted to speak with a member of the crisis intervention team. The correctional sergeant went up to Jefferson and had a brief conversation before telling him to return to his cell. 

Jefferson refused and told the sergeant "better ring the bell… I’ve been waiting for you," the charges said. When the sergeant went to call for help, Jefferson punched her in the eye with a closed fist, "violently sending her to the ground."

Other correction officers came to help and restrained Jefferson. He continued to threaten them, saying "Let go of me, and I’ll do the same to every one and each of y’all. I’ll remember y’all when I come out," the complaint said.

The sergeant was taken to Regions Hospital, and suffered significant damage to her right eye and multiple facial fractures, resulting in multiple surgeries to help fix her eye, but the damage was irreversible, and she lost vision in her eye. The sergeant needed additional surgical procedures to mend the fractures to her face.

"In a profession already burdened with the challenges of ensuring safety and order, correctional officers should never have to face the added threat of violence," said Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson in a statement. "We commend the courageous correctional sergeant for her resilience in the face of adversity, and we continue to prioritize our commitment to pursuing justice in support of the safety and well-being of those who serve within our correctional facilities."