SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell terminated a detention officer in the Johnston County Jail following an internal investigation. The former detention officer is now facing criminal charges.
Michael Lowe is accused of using excessive force and assaulting an inmate in custody at the Johnston County Jail on February 13, 2022.
“On February 15, 2022, the SBI was requested by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney to investigate allegations of excessive force involving Michael Lowe, a correctional officer with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, and an inmate who was incarcerated at the facility,” said Angie Grube, a spokesperson for the NC SBI.
On August 1, 2022, a Grand Jury indicted Lowe on a misdemeanor count of simple assault. The indictment alleges Lowe assaulted and struck the inmate in the Johnston County Jail. Authorities did not release specific details about the assault including whether the inmate was injured.
Lowe, who had been a detention officer since December 1, 2018, was terminated by Sheriff Bizzell on February 14, 2022 following an internal investigation into the incident. The SBI investigation was requested the following day, February 15.
“As Sheriff of Johnston County, I do not and will not tolerate any type of abuse or mistreatment of inmates in the care and custody of the Johnston County Jail. We strive to treat inmates in a respectful manner, and to do our job professionally on a daily basis,” Sheriff Bizzell said.
The simple assault charge levied against Michael Lowe has not been formally served on him. The SBI agent in charge of the investigation will reportedly serve the indictment on the defendant.