Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and three deputies have entered not guilty pleas Wednesday in U.S District Court. The four are accused of civil rights violations and obstruction of justice. The Glasgow Daily Times reports Sheriff Eaton and deputies Adam Minor, Eric Guffey, and Aaron Bennett were arraigned in federal court in Bowling Green. The charges against them stem from an incident on February 22, 2011.
Law enforcement agents engaged in a high-speed chase with Billy Randell Stinnett that night. The chase cut through Hart and Barren counties and ended when Stinnett crashed into the Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow.
The van he was driving contained a mobile meth lab.
Stinnett claims he tried to surrender after the crash, but was then beaten with a metal club on the head, arm, back, and legs by Sheriff Eaton. Stinnett says other officers hit, kicked, and spit on him for several minutes.
Five teenagers who allegedly witnessed the events told the FBI the officers kicked and beat Stinnett, took a break to speak on their police radios, and then returned to continue the attack.
Stinnett pleaded guilty to 47 criminal charges related to the chase, and is now serving 20 years at Green River Correctional Complex in Central City.