David Paul Merritt, a 48-year-old man living in Lexington, was sentenced to seven years of prison after a Lexington County jury found him guilty, Tuesday, of throwing bodily fluids by prisoner on a corrections officer. Assistant Solicitor Sutania A. Fuller of the 11th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office, announced the sentence in a release, Wednesday.
Merritt was sentenced by Chief Administrative Judge Frank R. Addy, Jr. The case was investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and prosecuted by Assistant Solicitors Luke Pincelli and Bradley Pogue.
On May 12, 2018, David Merritt arrived at the Lexington County Detention Center to serve his jail sentence for a prior assault and battery conviction in which he was allowed to serve his sentence on weekends.
While at the Detention Center, Merritt was to be placed into confinement for arriving at the jail under the influence. He was taken to the bathroom at booking where he was ordered to change into his confinement uniform and failed to comply with the corrections officers.
Merritt argued with, belittled, and resisted the officers. He defecated on himself. Then he intentionally reached toward his buttocks using his hand and subsequently smeared feces on one of the corrections officers.
At sentencing, the judge explained that correctional officers already have a hard enough job and nobody should have to tolerate that kind of behavior.
The judge also expressed his intent to fashion a sentence that would discourage future criminal conduct of this nature among inmates. Merritt has multiple prior convictions for assault and battery. He was transported to the Department of Corrections to begin the immediate service of his active prison sentence.