A tragic incident unfolded within the walls of Smith State Prison, Georgia, when a correctional officer was lethally attacked by an inmate, according to an official statement from the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Correctional Officer Robert Clark faced a deadly assault from inmate Layton Lester while escorting him and another inmate, Marko Willingham, from the prison’s dining hall. Lester, already incarcerated for a 2007 murder among other offenses, reportedly employed an improvised weapon during the unanticipated attack.

Clark, who began his tenure at the prison in April, succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. In a brave attempt to assist Clark during the assault, Willingham was wounded but is currently in the hospital, expected to recover from his non-life-threatening injuries.

Officer Robert Clark
Photo: (Georgia Department of Corrections)

“The Georgia Department of Corrections family is enveloped in mourning following the tragic loss of Officer Clark,” expressed GDC Commissioner Tyrone Oliver, extending profound condolences to Clark’s family and assuring them of support through the ensuing difficult times.

Anticipations are that Lester will face charges for the assault and subsequent death of Clark, and for inflicting injuries on Willingham.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp shared his sorrow and sympathies on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. He invited the community to join in prayers for Clark’s family, loved ones, and the entirety of the Georgia Department of Corrections amidst this mournful period.

Additional details regarding the somber incident remain scant at this time.



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