GLASGOW — Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and deputies at the BCSO, already facing a civil suit against a man they arrested, are now being federally indicted for alleged deprivation of rights and tampering with witnesses.
The grand jury indictment was filed Wednesday in the United States District Court of the Western District of Kentucky at Bowling Green.
Eaton and deputies Aaron Bennett, Danny Robert “Bobby” McCown, Joseph Adam Minor and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force detective Eric Guffey are all charged in the 10-count criminal indictment.
“I'm disappointed the Department of Justice in Washington has elected to charge them when we had numerous discussions to try to avoid this,” said J. Guthrie True, of Johnson, True & Guarnieri in Frankfort. True is representing Eaton in the case. “There seems to be a gainful effort to indict the sheriff and that's unfortunate.”
All five are charged with deprivation of rights under the color of law for allegedly assaulting an individual identified in the indictment as “B.R.S.” on Feb. 24, 2010.
The assault of B.R.S. resulted in bodily injury, “thereby willfully depriving B.R.S. of a right secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, specifically, the right to be free from … the use of unreasonable force, by one acting under the color of law,” the indictment stated.
Eaton is individually charged with deprivation of rights for allegedly failing to prevent officers under his command from assaulting the person.
Eaton is also charged with witness tampering and the indictment alleges he “knowingly intimidated, threatened and corruptly persuaded, and attempted to intimidate, threaten and corruptly persuade” an individual identified as “S.R.” in an attempt to “hinder, delay, and prevent the communication to a federal law enforcement officer of information relating to the commission and possible commission of a federal offense,” according to the indictment.