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Inmate charged with attempted murder in Jackson County Jail attack

Jeremiah Lee Carter, 46, is charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault accusing him of a Wednesday inmate-on-inmate attack at the Jackson County Jail. Jackson County Jail booking photo.

A Central Point man faces attempted murder charges accusing him of unprovoked attacks on an inmate while being held in the Jackson County Jail.

Jeremiah Lee Carter, 46, made his first appearance Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court on two felony counts of attempted second-degree murder and a single count of second-degree assault.

At about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, Moran said a jail corrections deputy "intervened immediately“ after spotting Carter engaged in a physical altercation with another inmate during a routine patrol of the hallways.

“They were on routine rounds in the jail, and it was a really quick response getting into the cell,” Moran said.

Moran declined to elaborate on the seriousness of the victim’s injuries beyond that jail deputies called Medford Fire Department and Mercy Flights paramedics before rushing the victim to a nearby hospital.

Moran declined to identify the victim inmate, but court documents filed by Jackson County District Attorney’s Office identified the victim as 37-year-old Johnathan David Vigil.

Detectives believe that the attack in the holding cell was unprovoked, according to Moran.

Under Oregon law, each inmate is required to be checked at least once an hour, according to an earlier news report about inmate violence at the local jail. Inmates with medical problems or at risk for violence or suicide require documented checks every 15 minutes.

The two inmates were each booked in the jail on low level offenses earlier that day.

Medford police originally arrested Carter earlier that day on misdemeanor charges of second-degree trespassing and second-degree disorderly conduct, according to jail records.

Medford police had arrested Vigil that same day on a detainer for violating his parole on a prior vehicle theft conviction.

At Carter’s Friday court appearance, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Laura Cromwell ordered that Carter be held without bail on the assault and attempted murder charges, and ordered him a court-appointed defense lawyer. Court records show that the judge’s no-bail order Friday was partly because Carter refused to identify himself at the arraignment hearing.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.