Moultrie, GA (July 7, 2020) – On Saturday, June 27, 2020, about 2:21 pm, the GBI was requested by Colquitt County Sheriff Rod Howell to investigate a use of force incident involving Colquitt County Jailer Russell Harris. Harris was involved in a physical altercation with inmate Bobby Ellerson who had been fighting with another inmate. Inmate Ellerson was treated for injuries at a local hospital as a result of the altercations with the other inmate and Jailer Harris. This case is still active and ongoing.

During the above investigation, Sheriff Howell learned that Jailer Harris was involved in a separate use of force incident with another inmate that took place on March 13, 2020 about 7:00 pm involving Inmate Kirby Fender. Sheriff Howell notified the GBI of this and then requested the GBI open a separate investigation into this incident as well. As a result of this investigation, the GBI has charged Jailer Russell Harris with one count of aggravated assault and one count of violation of oath of office for allegedly striking Inmate Fender. Harris has been arrested on these charges and turned himself in to the Colquitt County Jail on the afternoon of July 6, 2020. Once the case file is complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. This case is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information on either case is asked and encouraged to call the GBI at 229-225-4090.

Contact Assistant Special Agent in Charge

Michael Callahan

Contact SAC Jamy Steinberg

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