Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

December 12, 2012

Judge rules on motions in Barren County Sheriff's Office federal case

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — A U.S. district court judge released 39 pages of orders this week in response to 10 motions filed in a case against the Barren County sheriff and two local deputies.

Accused of beating a man once in handcuffs and then lying to federal investigators about the incident, Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett and Deputy Eric Guffey have been charged with various counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, aiding and abetting, witness tampering, falsification of a document, false statements and destruction of records, documents or tangible objects.

The defendants were indicted along with Deputy Joseph Adam Minor in February 2012 for an arrest that occurred two years before. On Feb. 24, 2010, Billy Randall Stinnett led law enforcement on a two-county car chase while driving a rented van that housed a mobile methamphetamine lab. The federal prosecutors allege that Eaton, Bennett, Guffey and Minor used unnecessary force in the process of arresting Stinnett, beating him and then lying about it to investigators.

All four defendants initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, but Minor changed his plea in May to guilty of one count of making a false statement to federal investigators. Eaton, Bennett and Guffey are maintaining not guilty pleas and are scheduled for trial April 29.

On Dec. 3, prosecutors and defense attorneys met in the courtroom of Judge Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., in Bowling Green to argue almost a dozen motions that have been filed in the case from both sides. Tuesday, McKinley released his orders regarding each motion.

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