Washington, DC (FBI) — The Justice Department announced that former Bryan County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Kevin Bennett Holt was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for using a Taser to assault a detainee inside of the Bryan County Jail.
Holt pleaded guilty on May 1. During the plea hearing and in the plea documents, Holt admitted that he intentionally used unreasonable force on a detainee when he electronically shocked the detainee by using a Taser device while the detainee was strapped into a restraint chair. Holt also admitted that his unlawful Taser deployment injured the victim, according to the Justice Department, who said the victim’s civil rights were violated.
Holt had originally been indicted on six counts for federal civil rights violations and obstruction of justice for allegedly using a Taser on a person who had been arrested and two jail inmates in 2010.
“Excessive force by officers sworn to respect and uphold the law undermines our criminal justice system,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said, in a news release. “The federal government is committed to prosecuting officers who abuse the authority entrusted to them.”
Sheriff Bill Sturch said last year that his office initiated the investigation into allegations against Holt and then turned the case over to the FBI due to the alleged civil rights violations.
Holt resigned from the sheriff’s office in January 2011. He was also once a police officer in Achille
The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Nicole Lee Ndumele of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Dean Burris from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.