Federal Case Against Barren County Sheriff, Two Others Could Go to Jury Thursday

May 9, 2013

The case against Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other officers is expected to go to the jury Thursday. Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of beating a suspect and engaging in a cover-up. 

Testimony ended in the week-and-a-half long trial with none of the officers testifying in their own defense. 

In closing statements to the jury, Federal Prosecutor Roy Conn said three men sworn to uphold the law broke the law. He recanted eyewitness statements that suspect Billy Stinnett was on the ground in handcuffs, but the alleged assault continued. 

The prosecution relied heavily on former deputy Adam Minor, who pleaded guilty to one charge and agreed to testify against the other officers. 

Sheriff Eaton’s defense attorney Guthrie True told jurors in closing arguments, “To find any of these men guilty, you have to believe Adam Minor.”  The defense has argued throughout the trial that Minor has no credibility after admitting on the witness stand that he lied in state court and to a grand jury about his participation in the alleged attack. He’s now a convicted felon, who the defense claims, is working with the government to avoid prison time. 

Attorneys for Aaron Bennett and Eric Guffey will make their closing statements Thursday morning before sending the case to jurors to deliberate a verdict.