Inmate With History of Carrying Shanks Uses One to Stab Harris County Jailer

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

One shank, two shanks, three shanks, four?

An inmate with a propensity for carrying homemade stabbing devices, or "shanks," for you novices, has now been accused of stabbing a Harris County jailer with...well...a shank.

According to authorities, 33-year-old Weylin Alford, who is currently serving a sentence for burglary with attempt to assault, stabbed a detention officer at the Harris County Jail on Monday after officers attempted to complete a sanitation check of the inmate's cell.

Alford, who is categorized as a "chronically violent inmate," would not place his hands through an opening in the door to be handcuffed, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christina Garza told the Chron.

One of the officers opened the door anyway, and attempted to subdue Alford by giving verbal commands, according to Garza, while reaching for his pepper spray. But Alford rushed the jailer with a rolled-up mattress and proceeded to stab him with a hairbrush that had been sharpened into -- you guessed it -- a shank.

According to reports, the officer was stabbed in the ear, temple and scalp, and an officer who attempted to intervene during the shanking suffered what appears to be a broken hand. Neither injury was life-threatening, according to Garza.

This stabbing incident happened while the jail was under inspection by both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, by the way. We're sure they were pleased.

A number of issues have been raised about the Harris County Jail in recent months, including the case of a mentally ill inmate who was found living in a rancid cell filled with human waste and trash last year. According to the Chron, those complaints prompted the surprise visit from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

While this situation is pretty awful, it's not like there was no forewarning of Alford's violent tendencies. The dude was caught in a Houston courtroom in October with not one but two shanks tied to himself, and two more were found in his jail cell during a subsequent search.

Following the discovery, Alford told bailiffs that he'd had a shank with him every time he had gone to court, which was often, since the dude was caught the day he was to hear the verdict on that "burglary with intent to assault" case he's currently in jail for.

Alford is now facing charges of aggravated assault on a public servant for the jailhouse shanking.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.