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Press Release

Press Release

Former VADOC Inmate Pleads Guilty to Assault on Three Corrections Officers

April 26, 2024

RICHMOND — A former Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) inmate has entered a guilty plea in a case concerning the felony assault of three corrections officers at State Farm Correctional Center.

Inmate Ronald Edward Whitehead, 35, will receive an active prison sentence of 1 year and 6 months (with 3 years and 6 months suspended) following his Thursday guilty plea. Whitehead was charged earlier in 2024 with three counts of assault and battery on a correctional officer. The charges were filed and Whitehead’s case was heard in Powhatan County Circuit Court.

On the morning of January 31, Whitehead became combative after staff observed him in an unauthorized area and instructed him to report to the watch office. Whitehead later punched officers multiple times after he was physically placed on the ground to gain compliance. The proper level of force was used to ultimately bring Whitehead under control.

Three staff members received treatment at a local hospital, with one employee sustaining a dislocated knee from the assault.

Whithead’s original sentence with the VADOC ended on Friday, March 22. On his release date, Whitehead was placed into the custody of the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our Department thanks Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Cerullo and the Powhatan County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for pursuing these charges against Whitehead and for making sure the employees injured in this assault receive justice,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “The safety of our corrections team and the overall safety and security of our facilities will always be the VADOC’s top priority in our mission to ensure public safety.”

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