(STL.News) – A Mt, Vernon, Kentucky, man was convicted Thursday by a federal jury in London for violating the civil rights of an inmate under custody.
After seven hours of deliberation, following a four-day trial, the jury convicted 25-year-old Derek Steven Clark, a former Deputy Jailer at the Rockcastle County Detention Center, from Mt. Vernon, Kentucky, of two counts of injuring, oppressing, threatening, and intimidating a victim, an arrestee, and one count of making a false entry in a record or document intending to impede or influence the investigation of the matter within a federal jurisdiction.
According to testimony at trial, Clark and others placed an inmate victim into a restraint chair. Clark then aided and commanded the assault of the victim by another, which resulted in bodily injury. Afterwards, Clark completed an official incident report to document the incident. In completing that report, Clark falsely wrote that after he and others placed the victim in the restraint chair, the victim began spitting at deputy jailers, causing two inmates to intervene. Clark’s false report indicated one inmate instinctively slapped the victim which caused the victim’s lip to bleed, and that the victim then spit blood, causing the inmate to punch the victim.
Evidence at trial established that, in truth, Clark and others placed the victim into the restraint chair, and the victim did not become physically combative or spit at deputies, before being punched by the inmate.
Clark was indicted in December 2019.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and James Robert Brown, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office, jointly announced the conviction.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins.
Clark will appear for sentencing on November 18, 2020. He faces a maximum of ten years in prison for Count 1 and 2, and a maximum of 20 years in prison for Count 3. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.