LAREDO, Texas (AP) — The first inmate charged in a South Texas jail riot that authorities say involved at least 25 inmates and left two correctional officers injured has appeared in court on charges that include arson.
The Laredo Morning Times reports 37-year-old Joaquin Morales appeared in court Thursday. A judge reset his hearing for January to give prosecutors more time.
The Webb County sheriff's office has said Mexican Mafia members incited the Dec. 11 riot at the Webb County Jail in Laredo. Authorities have said at least 25 inmates are expected to be charged but Morales is the first.
His charges also include engaging in organized criminal activity. His attorney denies the charges and says Morales isn't a Mexican Mafia member.
Authorities say the riot caused nearly $30,000 in damage to the jail.
Information from: Laredo Morning Times, http://www.lmtonline.com