Saturday, March 17, 2012

Civil Rights: Two Tennessee sheriff’s deputies indicted for federal civil rights offenses

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department announced today that a federal grand jury in Nashville, Tennessee returned a one-count indictment charging former Humphreys County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Deputies Timothy Wayne Hedge, 50, and James Benjamin Lee, 32, for violating the civil rights of an individual on January 23, 2011 in Humphreys County.

The indictment alleges that on January 23, 2011, Hedge and Lee, while acting under color of law and while aiding and abetting each other, violated an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable seizures by kicking and striking an individual with a collapsible baton during the course of arresting the individual, resulting in bodily injury.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Hedge and Lee could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine plus three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Clarksville, Tennessee Office of the FBI’s Memphis Division and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Harold B. McDonough and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Adriana Vieco.