WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu May 2, 2013
Alleged Beating Victim Takes the Stand in Trial of Barren County Sheriff and Other Officers
The man who claims he was beaten by law enforcement officers in Barren County took the stand Thursday in the federal trial of Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and drug task force Detective Eric Guffey.
Billy Stinnett, a convicted felon and meth addict, led officers on a high speed chase through Hart and Barren counties before crashing his van into a Glasgow church.
According to Stinnett, he got out of the van, threw his hands up and starting going to the ground when Sheriff Eaton began hitting him in the head with a baton. When backup arrived that day in 2010, Stinnett claims the other officers joined in the attack even though he was in handcuffs.
Stinnett has a civil suit pending against the defendants.
At times on the witness stand, Stinnett contradicted statements by other prosecution witnesses. On cross-examination, he gave a detailed account of every turn he took on the hour-long car chase, but Defense Attorney Guthrie True questioned why he couldn’t remember getting punched in the groin by Sheriff Eaton as other witnesses have claimed.
“You’d want to include that in your lawsuit if it happened wouldn’t you?", asked True.
“I can’t put something in there I don’t remember," Stinnett replied.
Stinnett is serving a 20-year sentence at the Green River Correctional Complex in Grayson County.