MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A fired state police trooper is scheduled to go on trial June 4 following an initial appearance and arraignment Monday in federal court in Martinsburg.
Michael Kennedy, 29, of Morgantown, was indicted last month on one charge of depriving the rights of the 16-year-old boy arrested following a pursuit in Berkeley County last November. A dashcam shows Kennedy throwing the teenager to the ground and striking him several times.
Kennedy appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Trumble Monday afternoon. Trumble issued a scheduling order and set the trial date. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Gina Groh.
According to the scheduling order, if there’s a plea agreement in the case, it has to be proposed by May 28. A pretrial conference is set for May 30.
Kennedy was released on standard bond conditions.
The FBI became part of the investigation a few weeks after initial information surfaced about the arrest.
Kennedy and Trooper First Class Derek Walker were fired by state police on Jan. 18. They had previously been suspended without pay.
The video opens with a sheriff’s deputy cruiser on patrol. Approximately 2:40 into the video, the dashcam shakes, indicating the cruiser was struck from behind. A chase follows until the juvenile runs off the road at approximately the 4:30 mark of the video.
Berkeley County prosecuting attorney Catie Wilkes-Delligatti said the video shows Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy C.S. Merson approaching the vehicle with Trooper Walker behind him. Merson breaks the window out of the vehicle because the door handle was broken in the accident and the door would not open. Merson and Walker pull the juvenile driver from the vehicle through the window.
Trooper Kennedy next approaches followed by Deputy Austin Ennis.
The video then shows the police trying to handcuff the suspect. At one point, Trooper Kennedy begins kicking the suspect. Eventually they subdue him, but then Kennedy approaches the suspect and repeatedly strikes him in the face. Later, after the suspect is on his feet, Kennedy tosses him to the ground.
Berkeley County deputies Merson and Ennis were fired by Sheriff Curtis Keller in January. The deputies remain off the job while their cases are reviewed by disciplinary panels.