Man Accused of Assault at Clarion County Jail Faces Additional Charges After Homemade Weapon Found in His Cell


PAINT TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Knox man who was already facing charges related to an assault at the Clarion County Jail is now facing new charges after a homemade weapon was found concealed in his cell.

Court documents indicate 29-year-old William Ellsworth May Jr., of Knox, was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill at 1:21 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, on the following charges:

– Inmate Procure Etc Self With Weapon, Misdemeanor 1
– Possess Instrument Of Crime With Intent, Misdemeanor 1
– Make Repairs/Sell/Etc Offensive Weapon, Misdemeanor 1

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in early May at the Clarion County Jail.

According to a criminal complaint, around 7:00 p.m. on May 1, Clarion County Jail inmate William E. May Jr. hit the emergency call button in his cell. A corrections officer responded, and May requested to be moved to a different cell.

The complaint states that when asked why, May responded, “This cell is an escape risk,” and showed the corrections officer that he could move the vent cover in the cell. He reportedly said, “there is something wrong with the window” and stated he had tools to “be out of the cell by morning.”

The corrections officer then asked May “the real reason” he wanted out of the cell, to which May replied, “to play Monopoly,” the complaint states.

May was then removed from the cell and a search was conducted by three corrections officers.

According to the complaint, a homemade weapon, created from a piece of floor tile cut to a point and wrapped in cloth to create a handle, was found inside a mattress cover.

The complaint notes the implement could be used as a weapon to inflict bodily harm.

On May 5, Deputy Warden Sprnakle provided Chief County Detective William Peck with a corrections officer’s report regarding the incident and also showed Detective Peck the item seized from May’s mattress.

During a misconduct hearing on May 6, May allegedly denied making the item, but he did make a statement that he “had to have (it) to watch his back, for protection,” according to the complaint.

His bail was set at $10,000.00 monetary for this case.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, with Judge Schill presiding.

Previous Case

Court documents indicate another hearing for William Ellsworth May Jr. is set for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19.

May faces one second-degree misdemeanor count of simple assault.

The charge stems from an incident that occurred in the Clarion County Jail in April.

On April 21, Deputy Warden Sprankle, of the Clarion County Jail, contacted Chief Detective William Peck regarding an assault that occurred at the jail.

Deputy Warden Sprankle reported that William Ellsworth May Jr. approached another inmate from behind and pulled on the inmate’s ponytail. May and the other inmate then ended up on the floor of the cell block, and May reportedly struck the other inmate several times on the body and head, the complaint states.

Chief Detective Peck was provided with video footage of the incident, which showed the incident described above. It was noted that May then struck the other inmate nine times on the body and head, according to the complaint.

May was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill at 9:31 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6.

His bail was set at $2,500.00 monetary on this case.

May is currently lodged in the Clarion County Jail. He is awaiting upcoming criminal conferences on several other cases related to the theft of an ATV, as well as other incidents of assault and vandalism at the Clarion County Jail.

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