Assaulted by Inmate at Smith State Prison

FORSYTH, Ga - On Sunday, October 1, Correctional Officer Robert Clark was escorting two offenders from the dining hall when one offender assaulted him from behind with a homemade weapon. The other offender stepped in to assist Officer Clark and was also assaulted.  Both Officer Clark and the offender who assisted were transported to local hospitals.

Officer Robert Clark, 42, began his GDC career at Smith SP in April of this year, and has tragically succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. The offender who assisted remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

“The entire GDC team is mourning the loss of one of our own and we collectively express our deepest condolences to Officer Clark’s family and friends,” said Commissioner Tyrone Oliver.  “We will support them as they navigate this tragedy over the coming days, weeks and months.”

Offender Layton Lester, GDC# 1000168433 will be charged in the assault and resulting death of Officer Clark, as well as the assault of offender Marko Willingham, GDC# 1137040.


Further details of the incident will be made available as soon as they are confirmed.  



About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising approximately 47,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit


Director of Public Affairs Joan Heath


Manager, Public Affairs Lori Benoit