Pathology report in: County inmate died of blunt force trauma

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The jail fight in which Michael Stallworth lost his life was described Wednesday as “very brutal,” and an ABI agent testified pathologists reported the 270-pound man died from “multiple blunt force trauma” to the head.

Stallworth, 35, died Sunday, May 27 following a fight with Corey Horton, 24, a man Stallworth outweighed by nearly 100 pounds. District Judge Robert Armstrong ruled Horton would be held without bond, and the case was bound over to a grand jury.

Email newsletter signup

Horton’s attorney P. Vaughan Russell agreed with state prosecutors that his client should not be free, and pointed out to the court the preliminary cause of death was inaccurate. The video surveillance system inside the Dallas County Jail captured what Marc Boyd of the ABI described as more than 22 minutes of fighting.

Boyd testified Stallworth “swung at Mr. Horton,” and that Horton connected with a punch that sent Stallworth backwards, hitting his head against the cell bars. At that point Horton got behind Stallworth and applied a hold.

Boyd told the court Horton grabbed Stallworth “by the neck and fell to the floor.” Boyd testified the video audio clearly reveals Horton told Stallworth to “go to sleep mutha (expletive), go to sleep” as he held his grip “for about five minutes.” After Stallworth was on the floor Horton walked around the medical ward looking for guards to come – for about 20 minutes.

During that time Horton returned to where Stallworth laid and kicked him several times. Boyd testified Horton took the garbage can and dumped the contents on top of him, then threw the can on top of him.

Boyd testified Stallworth was “partially hidden by a permanent table” as he lay on the floor.

“He doused him with water, then threw the water cooler on top of him,” Boyd testified.

Horton’s mother became visibly upset while assistant district attorney Shannon Lynch described her son as “a danger to the community” and a flight risk since he was scheduled to go on trial in Circuit Court in two weeks for an alleged rape. Cynthia Horton said she told authorities to get her son locked up before he hurt someone.

“I’m the one that called you,” she said. “For three whole months I hunted him. When I found him I’m the one that told Cahaba Mental Health and the Sheriff’s department where he was. His mind’s been messed up for nine months.”

Boyd told the court the incident is still under investigation.

Members of Stallworth’s family said they could not believe Horton managed to murder their loved one.

“Both families have lost someone,” said Betty Davis, a friend of the Stallworth family. “I have sympathy for both families. The only person that can take care of this situation is God.”