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Inmate fight over religion leads to charges
Security camera footage shows both inmates ‘aggressive’
Prison Bars

DARLINGTON — A shoving match between two inmates in the Lafayette County Jail in September has resulted in charges against both, according to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 10.

Tyler Jonathon Meyer, 33, Shullsburg, faces a Class H felony charge of battery committed by a prisoner and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct related to the Sept. 30 incident. His initial appearance is Oct. 29.

Matthew R. Mayotte, 41, Medford, formerly of Benton, is charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct related to the incident. He entered a plea of not guilty at a hearing Oct. 16 and has a status conference in the case in December.

According to the criminal complaint:

Mayotte reported that Meyer assaulted him in a dispute over religion. He told investigators Meyer confronted him about seeing a pastor and following the Bible while in jail.

While other inmates watched, the two men got into a shoving match. By the end, Mayotte had a bloody nose and lip, a lump above his right eye, a scraped and bruised knee and blood on his hands and shirt.

Jail security camera footage shows that both inmates acted aggressively during the 7-minute altercation, but their shoving match ended when Meyer threw Mayotte to the ground. Mayotte landed facedown, hitting and injuring his face. As Meyer walked away, Mayotte went after him and reached around his neck. The two men choked each other but eventually broke free and continued arguing from a distance as Mayotte cleaned blood off his face.

Meyer portrayed his involvement in the altercation as self-defense, adding that Mayotte slipped and fell. He also said that after Mayotte saw the pastor, Mayotte and another inmate were calling him names and making comments about why he was in jail.

Court records show Mayotte has an open Lafayette County case with charges of domestic abuse-related substantial battery and disorderly conduct, while Meyer has multiple open cases in the county with charges including burglary, theft and bail jumping.

— Kayla Barnes contributed reporting