06/15/2019
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Three inmates were recognized on Thursday afternoon for their quick thinking that saved the life of a deputy.

The three inmates were part of a work crew that were working to pick up trash when their supervisor, James Smith, suffered a stroke.

“We have a roadside cleanup program and we use vetted inmates who work on the crew and pick up trash under supervision. They get time off on their sentence for their work,” said Bladen County Chief Deputy Larry Guyton.

The three inmates Roy William Smith, Rosendo Morales-Sanchez, and Franklin Edens Jr. said they assisted Officer Smith as best they could until help arrived.

Edens said when the inmates first noticed something was wrong, they saw Officer Smith stumble in the ditch where they were working.

“He stumbled and fell over in the ditch and we went over to help him up. I figured he had lost balance and we helped him up from there, we sat him back down,” said Edens.

He added they asked Officer Smith if he needed anything and he wasn’t responding to their questions. Edens said that the inmates waited with Officer Smith and a motorist stopped by and offered assistance as well.

“One of them (the motorists) knew him and knew his family,” said Edens.

Roy Smith said the incident scared him when he realized Officer Smith was sick.

“Me and Frank were holding him to keep him from falling over in the ditch,” said Roy Smith.

Each of the three inmates received a Life Saving Award certificate from the Sheriff’s Office for their quick thinking.

Officer Smith, who works part-time with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. was transported to Cape Fear Valley in Fayetteville and then moved to Duke.

Officer Smith began his career as a detention officer with the Bladen County Jail then he transferred to the Cumberland County Jail where he retired after 15 years, according to Chief Deputy Guyton.

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One employee of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office is recovering after suffering a stroke on the job thanks to the help of three inmates on the work crew he was overseeing.

A promotion ceremony was originally planned for 3 p.m. today at the Bladen County Law Enforcement Center. During the ceremony, the three inmates Roy William Smith, Rosendo Morales-Sanchez, and Franklin Edens Jr. will be honored for their quick thinking.

“We have a roadside cleanup program and we use vetted inmates who work on the crew and pick up trash under supervision. They get time off on their sentence for their work,” said Bladen County Chief Deputy Larry Guyton.

Deputy James Smith is one of two part-time employees who supervises some of our trustees who work on the roadside cleanup crew. According to Chief Deputy Guyton, yesterday (Wednesday, January 2) at about 2:45 p.m. Deputy Smith began to feel bad and passed out. The inmates, Roy William Smith, Rosendo Morales-Sanchez, and Franklin Edens Jr.  took the deputy’s cell phone and called 911 and stood by until law enforcement and EMS arrived, according to Chief Deputy Guyton.

“Mr. Smith was transported to Cape Fear Valley in Fayetteville and then moved to Duke. He suffered a stroke and is in ICU. We have a couple of officers and our chaplain going up to see him this afternoon,” said Chief Deputy Guyton.

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