WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that Oddie Tribble, 51, a former deputy sheriff with the Kershaw County, S.C., Sherriff’s Office, was sentenced to 63 month in prison and three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie for using excessive force on a man in his custody on Aug. 5, 2010. Tribble was also ordered to pay restitution of $5,109.25 to the victim.
According to evidence presented at trial, Tribble struck Charles Shelley, 38, a handcuffed arrestee, more than 25 times with a metal baton, lacerating his skin and fracturing his leg. The assault was captured by video cameras at the Kershaw County Detention Center. Eyewitnesses to the beating, including law enforcement officers, testified that they were shocked to see the unjustified attack by a police officer. A jury found Tribble guilty of violating Shelley’s rights on Feb. 3, 2011.
“ The defendant was granted considerable power to enforce the law, but instead abused his authority when he beat a handcuffed man entrusted to his care,” stated Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “This prosecution reflects the department’s commitment to rooting out official misconduct, and today’s sentence sends a message that such violent abuse will not be tolerated.”
“Oddie Tribble’s conviction and sentence demonstrate that we are a nation of laws, and that no man is above the law, most especially those of us that are responsible for enforcing the same.” said U.S Attorney Bill Nettles.
This case was investigated by the Columbia, S.C., Division of the FBI with assistance from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and was prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara McGregor, and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Christopher Lomax.