Ex-Kentucky jail deputies indicted on federal civil rights charges

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 02, 2015 6:26 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Reuters) - Two former deputies at an eastern Kentucky jail have been indicted on federal civil rights charges in the death of an inmate two years ago, prosecutors said on Monday.

William Howell, 59, and Damon Hickman, 38, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the federal charges stemming from the death of Larry Trent at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard in July 2013.

Howell and Hickman are accused of using excessive force on Trent and failing to provide medical care. The grand jury also charged Hickman with obstruction of justice, accusing him of making false claims about seeing Trent at specific times and about the inmate's well-being.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Trent was awaiting trial on a charge of driving under the influence.

Howell and Hickman also were charged with manslaughter in Perry Circuit Court in Trent's death. John Hansen, the commonwealth's attorney for Perry County, said a special prosecutor was assigned to the case, which is ongoing.

(Reporting by Steve Bittenbender; Editing by David Bailey and Sandra Maler)