Inmate Burned by Corrections Officer Speaks About Journey for Justice

An inmate badly burned in his cell when a South Florida corrections officer threw scalding hot water on him three years ago said there's finally justice after the officer pleaded guilty to battery last week.

Joshua Wiggins, who was 18 years old when the incident occurred in his cell at the Miami-Dade Pre-Trial Detention Center, suffered burn marks across his upper torso. He was being held on a drug charge in his first time behind bars. 

"A person like that in a position like that... Yeah, I was shocked," said Wiggins.

Officer Charlise Daniels-Wadley, who pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor battery, is no longer employed by the county. Wiggins said he still may sue the county over his injury.

Wiggins exclusively told NBC 6 he had gotten into an argument with Daniels-Wadley, who came back with scalding water.

"When she dropped the flap, she threw the water on me. The pain started really setting in through the jumper. It started setting in. I got on my knees, you know. I yelled before she even walked off. I told her, 'You are not going to get away with this,'" Wiggins recalled.

Daniels-Wadley pleaded guilty three years later. As part of a plea deal, she resigned from her job and was given a year probation and 50 hours of community service. Daniels-Wadley quickly left the hearing after entering her plea.

"The conduct of this officer is obviously unacceptable. The duty of a correctional officer is to keep all inmates safe and not put them in any kind of danger or any kind of harm's way. And again, this behavior should not be tolerated," said David Kubiliun, Wiggins' attorney.

Wiggins said he thought it would all get swept under the rug.

"I figured they just forgot about it, you know? I figured everybody forgot about it," Wiggins said. "I felt like I didn't forget, and that's what I told her in the cell, that I wouldn't forget. I felt like I had to follow up on it myself."

He said he was surprised when Corrections Investigator Sgt. Burke traveled to North Florida to speak with him. It gave him hope something might come of the complaint he filed.

Miami-Dade Corrections Internal Affairs and the State Attorney's Office investigated, which ultimately resulted in Daniels-Wadley's guilty plea.

The corrections department told NBC 6 the incident "does not condone conduct that undermines the trust of the community. It is disheartening when a corrections officer betrays his fellow officers and the community."

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