Suspect accused in Kauffman murder punches officer



ROWAN COUNTY - According to Rowan County officials, three inmates got involved in an alternation with officers at the Rowan County Detention Center.

Three men, Khari McClelland, Darius Smotherson and Quentin Mathis were in the day room of one of the detention center pods for their mandated exercise time. Their cells were being searched for contraband.

According to the release, one of the inmates started beating on the door of the day room, saying he needed to go to the bathroom.

When the day room door was opened, all three men rushed out. The three were verbally abusive to an officer and his Sgt. McClelland threw a punch at the officer, and a fight began between the three inmates and officers.

Other officers responded to that area of the detention center, and the situation was brought under control.

McClelland is accused of first-degree murder in the death of firefighter Marco Kauffman, who was killed during a home robbery in December.