WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon May 6, 2013
FBI Agents Take the Stand in Trial of Barren County Sheriff, Deputy, and Detective
The government is on the stand in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Detective Eric Guffey. The three are on trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for using excessive force on a suspect and lying about it to federal investigators.
Part of Monday’s testimony came from the FBI’s lead investigator on the case. Special Agent Mike Brown interviewed the three officers at the Barren County Sheriff’s Office in April 2010, about two months after suspect Billy Stinnett was allegedly beaten after being handcuffed.
Brown began each interview by reminding the officers that if they lied, they could be criminally charged. Brown said he also gave each defendant an opportunity to make corrections to their written statements to the FBI, but each officer affirmed their report was accurate. The reports, however, contained inconsistencies between the defendants and eye witnesses at the arrest scene.
Defense attorneys took Brown through a timeline of what they saw as shoddy investigative work, including failure to record interviews with the defendants and the fact a private citizen was asked to collect evidence from the scene.
Agent Brown will resume his testimony Tuesday morning under cross-examination.