BOWLING GREEN — Joseph Adam Minor has been on the stand in a federal courtroom in Bowling Green for about five hours over the course of two days, and only two out of four attorneys have questioned him so far.
Minor was a deputy for the Barren County Sheriff's Office on Feb. 24, 2010, when he, Sheriff Chris Eaton, deputy Aaron Bennett and Barren-Edmonson Drug Task Force detective Eric Guffey participated in the pursuit and arrest of Billy Randall Stinnett. Minor was indicted along with Eaton, Bennett and Guffey on Feb. 15, 2012, for deprivation of rights and making false statement charges stemming from the Feb. 24, 2010, arrest incident.
Like the three defendants now on trial, Minor entered an initial plea of not guilty, but on May 1, 2012, entered a guilty plea to one count of making a false statement to federal investigators. Minor is a cooperating witness for the government team prosecuting the case, and for most of the first two days of witness testimony in the U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky trial, Minor has been the center of attention.
When the former deputy arrived at the scene of Stinnett's arrest alongside Bennett, Stinnett was already in handcuffs and non-combative with Eaton and Guffey, Minor testified under oath Tuesday and Wednesday. Minor approached Stinnett and kicked him at least twice, he said, because he was angry. Bennett began punching Stinnett in the head, and later Eaton and Bennett both struck Stinnett with their asp batons. The assault lasted less than a minute, but it was unnecessary and unreasonable force, Minor testified.
Minor's federal court testimony and statements he has given to the U.S. government and FBI since becoming a cooperating witness differ greatly from the statements he made before being indicted, including under oath in Barren District Court and in front of a Barren County Grand Jury, J. Guthrie True said in his cross examination of Minor on Wednesday morning. True walked through Minor's previous testimonies, finding five specific facts in his grand jury testimony that Minor said were lies.