WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue April 2, 2013
Barren County Sheriff's Office Subject of Another Lawsuit
As Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton prepares to go on federal trial at the end of the month, he is scheduled for trial next spring in an unrelated case.
According to the Glasgow Daily Times, the lawsuit in U-S District Court names deputies Chris Wyatt, Rodney Sponhouse, and Aaron Bennett as defendants. The plaintiff is Mark Smith who contends he consented to a breathalyzer, but Deputy Wyatt refused to share the test results and slammed his body against the police cruiser.
Smith’s lawsuit alleges Deputy Sponhouse pepper sprayed him and locked him in the cruiser for 30 minutes in 90-degree heat during the August 2011 incident.
Smith was charged with alcohol intoxication and disorderly conduct. He alleges he was not read his Miranda rights and spent 15 days in the Barren County Detention Center before the charges were dismissed.
In court documents filed by his attorney, Smith’s arrest constituted cruel and unusual punishment, unreasonable search and seizure, and excessive force. Sheriff Eaton is named as a defendant based on his oversight of the deputies. Defense documents filed by Bowling Green attorney Aaron Smith, state the deputies acted in good faith with objective reasonableness.
The case is set to go to trial next March.