Inmate hospitalized after beating in jail

Austin Steybe, 22, remains in critical condition, deputies say


PALATKA, Fla. – An inmate was beaten by his cellmate Monday morning in the Putnam County Jail, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said.

Corrections deputies were alerted about 1:20 a.m. to unusual behavior in one of the cells, which was occupied by two inmates. 

Deputies said they discovered that Austin Steybe, 20, had been attacked and the other inmate, Jerry Keene.

Deputies performed first aid on Steybe until Putnam County emergency medical services arrived and took him to Putnam Community Medical Center, where he is in critical condition, deputies said. 

Steybe, 22, has been in jail since Aug. 2 after being charged with the premeditated first-degree murder of his grandmother, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Keene, 44, has been in jail since March 3. He is charged with the first-degree premeditated murder of Thomas Lombardo, who was reported missing from Marion County and whose body was later found in the Ocala National Forest in Putnam County, deputies said. 

The Sheriff's Office's Major Crimes Unit, along with the Homicide Investigative Unit and the state attorney’s office, continue to investigate. The Sheriff's Office said charges are pending.