FBI Agent Testifies in Federal Trial of Barren County Sheriff, Two Others

May 6, 2013

The prosecution continues to call witnesses Monday in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other southern Kentucky law enforcement officers.

On the stand Monday is Dave McClellan, one of the two FBI agents who investigated the alleged beating of drug suspect Billy Stinnett, who led officers on a high-speed, two-county chase in February of 2010, before crashing his van into a Glasgow church. 

McClellan interviewed Sheriff Eaton, Barren County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Metcalfe Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey after the 2010 incident. Each of the three men were told they could be criminally charged if information in the report turned out to be false.

The officers were adamant that the written reports they had produced about the chase and arrest of Stinnett were accurate.

Sheriff Eaton wrote in his report that he thought Stinnett had a .22 caliber pistol in his hand. Eaton said he used his baton to subdue Stinnett. FBI agent McClellan testified he thought that it was strange that Eaton would have pulled his baton, instead of his gun, when confronted with a suspect he thought had a firearm.

Eaton said Stinnett was standing when he used his baton against the suspect, although prosecution witnesses have testified Stinnett was on the ground. Other witnesses say Eaton never mentioned a gun to them, saying instead that Stinnett had a knife.

Agent McClellan was on the stand all of Monday morning, and his testimony continued into the afternoon.