CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two former West Virginia Regional Jail Authority officers have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly violating the rights of an inmate.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart announced Austin Garland Burke, 64, and Timmy Allen Kemper, 58, were indicted Wednesday on one count each of deprivation of rights under color of law.
It’s alleged that on Feb. 27,2015, Burke and Kemper, while serving as internal affairs officers with the Regional Jail Authority, used unlawful force on an inmate at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville, injuring the inmate.
According to the indictment, the pair set off a flashbang grenade and stinger grenade in the inmate’s cell. They then allegedly hogtied the inmate and took him by K-9 vehicle to another jail.
The indictment said a dangerous weapon was also used.
State Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Larry Messina issued the following statement:
“The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety supports the action announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice and its Civil Rights Division, whichinvolve matters that allegedly occurred during a prior administration.
“DMAPS remains supportive of efforts to ensure the safe, secure and lawful operation of its correctional facilities,” Messina said.
The FBI investigated the case. The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division along with Stuart’s office are handling the prosecution.