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Jail chief convicted of assaults

The former chief deputy in charge of a Missouri jail has been convicted of six federal charges for assaulting two inmates and directing violent inmates to attack two others inside the jail.

Vernon Wilson was convicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis of four civil rights charges and two counts of lying to the FBI. He could face up to 10 years in prison at sentencing on June 1.

Authorities cited physical attacks on inmates four times in 2005. Wilson slapped two inmates so hard their heads smacked back against a concrete wall. Two other inmates were placed in a cell with a murder suspect with a violent reputation, who attacked the other two men and was rewarded by Wilson with cigarettes.

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