Corrections deputy receives Distinguished Service Medal

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024

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A corrections deputy who was attacked and injured by an inmate at the Covington County Jail recently was awarded the Covington County Sheriff’s Office’s Distinguished Service Medal during a meeting of the County Commission Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Blake Turman presented Joshua Martin with the commendation stating that Martin’s actions may have prevented others from injury.

“I am very proud that he did what it took to keep anyone else from being hurt. He stayed in the fight and prevented (the inmate) from hurting anyone else. There were a couple of nurses in there that he could have gotten to. Joshua Martin stood in the gap and prevented that and it cost him a great deal. He did his job and then some,” Turman said.

The citation begins: “Corrections deputy Joshua Martin has served with honor, commitment, and extreme bravery while serving the Covington County Sheriff’s Office.”

Martin was attacked by inmate Donald Lamar Burgans on Sunday, March 10. Martin underwent surgery following the altercation and was on hand Tuesday to accept the commendation.

“While on duty, Deputy Martin was brutally attacked by an inmate. During the attack, Deputy Martin sustained horrific injuries. Where a normal person would have given up, Deputy Martin stayed in the fight and prevented the inmate from causing injury to others and was able to secure the inmate. This act of bravery comes at a great cost, a cost Deputy Martin paid selflessly,” Turman said in presenting Martin with the commendation.

The altercation with the inmate resulted in Martin losing sight in one of his eyes.

“I just want to thank everyone for presenting me with this award,” Martin said. “I was just doing my job, but I’m glad that I was able to stop him from hurting anyone. I am still blessed. I can still see out of one eye and I thank God for that.”

Burgan was incarcerated at the county jail after being charged with third degree escape while being arrested on a charge of failure to appear. Turman said Burgan will face additional charges following the attack on Martin.