Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said an altercation started on Thursday after Donald Wheat, Sr. covered the surveillance camera in his cell with food and plastic foam from his dinner tray.
Three jailers, accompanied by a dog, went to remove the obstruction. Wheat started to taunt the jailers.
Corrections officer Jim Rowe said he grabbed Wheat's collar and forced him to the ground. Wheat then struck Rowe in the face.
Wheat is charged with capital murder in the May 15 slaying of four men at a Blockbuster Video store following a 12-week robbery spree that also left a Georgia man dead and two Alabama women injured.
Rowe's roommate and close friend, Doug Neal, was one of the men killed in the video store robbery.