Inmate sentenced to 20 years for attack of Correctional Officer

An inmate at the Gulf County Correctional Institution was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being convicted on Nov. 2 of the 2017 stabbing of a correctional officer at the facility. 


Jose Moreira, 30, was one of several prisoners charged with aggravated battery and battery on a law enforcement officer on Oct. 28. The attack that resulted in a corrections officer suffering several stab wounds with a shank-type weapon. One co-defendant entered a plea and a third is awaiting trial. 


Moreira was serving time for prior felony convictions – 2 dealing in stolen property, 3 burglaries, 2 grand thefts, 1 possession of a controlled substance, and 1 felon in possession of a firearm – at the time of the incident, a point that became central to the prosecution’s argument. 


State Attorney Larry Basford said the defendant faced the stiffer sentence after Circuit Court Judge Shonna Young Gay agreed with Gulf County Chief Prosecutor Tracy Smith’s argument that Moreira qualified as a habitual felony offender.  


According to a release from the Office of the State Attorney of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, “aggravated Battery carries a 15-year sentence, but as a habitual felony offender the defendant was facing up to 30 years. 


The release continued to say that statements from the victim gathered during the Office of the Inspector General’s investigation described the incident. 


The victim became involved in the disturbance at the facility and tried to create distance between himself and a group of inmates chasing him with weapons. Moreira was part of that group,” it read. “The victim was knocked to the ground and another correctional officer testified that he saw the defendant making a stabbing like motion at the victim with a weapon.” 


Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.