Testimony begins Tuesday in the federal trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other officers charged with using excessive force on a suspect in custody and lying about it to federal investigators.
Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of civil rights violations in the arrest of a methamphetamine suspect who led officers on a two-county car chase in 2010.
The defense will argue the suspect, Billy Stinnett, was combative and the use of force appropriate for the situation. Among the expected witnesses is former Deputy Adam Minor who was originally facing the same charges, but pleaded guilty to one charge of making false statements to the FBI. In a deal with prosecutors, Minor will testify against the sheriff and two other officers.
The trial in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green is expected to last at least a week.
Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, a deputy sheriff, and a detective go on trial Monday on charges of civil rights violations and lying to federal investigators. The case stems from a 2010 arrest in which the three officers were accused of using excessive force.
Jury selection begins Monday at 9:00am in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey.
According to the federal indictment, a 13-year old girl was at a Glasgow church on the night of February 24, 2010, when she looked out the window and saw suspect Billy Randall Stinnett struggling with the local sheriff and several deputies.
In testimony to the FBI, the girl and four other teenagers present say they saw Eaton and the deputies beating Stinnett to the point where they thought he was being murdered.
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.