Who is Edward Cherry, Fulton County Jail Inmate Stabs Colleague to Death

Edward Cherry, 36, is an inmate of the Fulton County jail who has been charged with murder after stabbing dead another inmate.

Leonard Fortner, 37, died after being stabbed multiple times on Thursday evening.

Following the stabbing, he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead at 7:39 p.m.

Fortner was arrested on Jan. 2 by the Atlanta Police Department and charged with criminal property damage. He was being held without bond.

Who is Edward Cherry Fulton County?

edward cherry fulton county jail stabbing suspect

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that Edward Cherry, 36, stabbed an inmate who was housed in the same zone at the jail at 6:24 p.m.

Cherry has since been charged with murder, aggravated assault, and possession of firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.

The 36-year-old has been held without bond for four years at the Fulton County Jail on numerous charges including kidnapping and aggravated assault.

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The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy on the deceased Fortner whilst the Atlanta Police Department is investigating the stabbing death.

This is the 2nd recorded death this year at the scandal plagued Fulton County Jail.

A jail officer doing a security round found Michael Anthony Holland, 36, in his cell in January, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Jail staff attempted unsuccessfully to revive Holland, who was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Holland was arrested by East Point police booked into the jail on May 4 on charges of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by the use of threats or violence, the release says. He was being held on $55,000 bond.

The troubled Fulton County Jail is under multiple investigations, including by the U.S. Justice Department, for conditions at the facility.

Ten inmates died at the jail in 2023.

leonard fortner was stabbed dead by edward cherry at the fulton county jail
Leonard Fortner

Families of those incarcerated at Fulton County jail are calling for changes in the wake of Edward Cherry stabbing Fortner to death.

“It’s time for them to do something about this. They can’t keep allowing these people just to sit here,” said Joel Whatley.

Whatley said his son has been sitting at Fulton County Jail for years and he worries about his health and safety inside the facility.

“He has not been convicted. He’s been there for five years, and they just keep putting off his trial,” said Whatley.

The U.S. Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into jail conditions with officials citing violence, filthy conditions and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects.

Investigators are looking at living conditions, access to medical and mental health care, use of excessive force by staff and conditions that may give rise to violence between people held in Fulton County jails, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said during a news conference.

The county’s main jail in Atlanta has a long history of problems.

“Our investigation into these matters is guided by one core principle: People held in jails and prisons do not surrender their constitutional and civil rights at the jailhouse door,” Clarke said, noting that a vast majority of people in jails have not been convicted.

People held in Fulton County are “predominantly people of color,” she said, adding that data shows 87% of the jail population is Black.

“This is a racial justice issue,” Clarke said.

Related – Inmate Breaks out of Idaho prison

Crime Bombshells recently reported on a case involving Skylar Meade, an inmate who broke out of prison in Idaho with the help of an accomplice.

Skylar Meade is a prisoner who broke out of jail in Boise, Idaho, early Wednesday morning with the help of an accomplice who shot and wounded two corrections officers.

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Three Idaho corrections officers were shot as a suspect staged a brazen attack to break a prison inmate out of a Boise hospital overnight.

An accomplice staged an attack to break prison inmate Skylar Meade out of a Boise hospital Tuesday night, shooting and seriously wounding two Idaho corrections officers, police said Wednesday.

skylar meade boise
Skylar Meade

Meade and his accomplice fled in a gray four-door sedan, possibly a Honda Civic, with Idaho plates.

The attack occurred at 2:15 am after Idaho Department of Corrections officers had transported Meade to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for treatment.

One officer shot by the suspect was in critical but stable condition, police said, while the second officer shot had serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A third corrections officer also sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being hit by friendly fire.

“This brazen, violent, and apparently coordinated attack on Idaho Department of Corrections personnel, to facilitate an escape of a dangerous inmate, was carried out right in front of the Emergency Department, where people come for medical help, often in the direst circumstances,” Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said in a written statement.

Meade has been serving a sentence with IDOC for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officers, with a firearm enhancement and has prior convictions.

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for shooting at a Twin Falls sheriff’s sergeant during a high-speed chase.

Prior convictions include: Felony possession of a controlled substance, grand theft and introduction of contraband to a correctional facility.

Idaho State Police issued a Blue Alert, as the search remains active. Blue Alerts are issued when police are looking for a suspect or suspects involved the death or serious injury of a peace officer.

Fulton County jail

The Fulton County Jail, also referred to as Rice Street, is a prison in Atlanta, Georgia. It was built to hold up to 1,125 prisoners in 1989 but now occasionally tops 3,000.

A previous Fulton County facility was first constructed in 1904 before the current one was built in 1989 at 901 Rice Street.

In April 2023, the county sheriff, Patrick Labat, fired three jailers after the death of a 35-year-old inmate caused a scandal.

Mr. Lashawn Thompson died in his cell only three months after being arrested and remanded to the jail for a misdemeanor in June 2022.

His death was considered due to neglect and his family was rewarded $4 million.

A former Fulton County jailer was remanded to prison himself in 2012 on charges of accepting bribes of more than $26,000 to distribute drugs inside the jail.

The jail received media attention from the August 24, 2023 mug shot booking of former president Donald Trump.

In August 2023, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved plans to find the funding for a new $1.7 billion facility to replace the Fulton County Jail.

The new facility is planned to have a 4,500 bed capacity.

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