WKU Public Radio News Staff
Sun May 5, 2013
Barren County Sheriff's Trial Enters Week Two
The federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton enters its second week Monday. Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of using excessive force on a suspect and covering it up to federal investigators.
On the witness stand Friday was retired sheriff’s deputy Steve Runyon who told jurors Eaton asked him to lie in a report to the FBI about the arrest of Billy Stinnett. Under cross-examination, Runyon admitted he previously lied to a grand jury, telling them Eaton did not tell him to make a false report.
Also testifying Friday was former Public Information Officer Trevor Phillips who took pictures after the alleged beating. Phillips said in one photo it appeared Sheriff Eaton was striking Stinnett. He said he deleted it because it “didn't look good,” but said Eaton did not tell him to delete it. He also said the picture was deleted before the FBI began its investigation. Several prosecution witnesses have said Sheriff Eaton punched Stinnett in the groin after he was in handcuffs.
The defense will begin calling witnesses this week, although the government has not rested its case yet. Testimony in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green resumes Monday at 9:00 am.