The Department of Justice announced today that a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama has returned an indictment against J. Keith McCray, a criminal investigator with the Macon County, Ala., Sheriff’s Office for violating the rights of a man he unlawfully seized and assaulted.
McCray, 41, is charged with two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of witness tampering. On July 4, 2013, the victim was going door-to-door in McCray’s neighborhood attempting to sell alarm systems. According to the indictment, McCray unlawfully seized the victim using a firearm, and then brought the victim to the county jail. The indictment alleges that at the jail, McCray struck the victim while he was handcuffed, which resulted in bodily injury. The indictment further alleges that McCray engaged in witness tampering when he intimidated the victim and corruptly persuaded him not to file a complaint for the assault.
If convicted, McCray could face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each deprivation-of-rights count. He could face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the witness tampering charge.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerusha T. Adams of the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Chiraag Bains of the department’s Civil Rights Division.