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Press Release

Former Eastern Kentucky Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Restrained Inmate

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Jeffery T. Havens, 27, a former Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center (EKCC) officer from West Liberty, Kentucky, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge David Bunning, to one count of depriving an inmate of his civil rights.  

According to his plea agreement, Havens admitted that on July 24, 2018, he and another EKCC correctional officer assaulted an inmate who had been taken to an isolated shower cell. Havens admitted that he held the inmate against the ground while his fellow correctional officer punched and kicked the inmate in the head. Havens joined in the assault by punching the inmate multiple times. At the time of the assault, the inmate was unresisting, lying face-down and wearing handcuffs and leg shackles. 

On July 12, in a related case, former EKCC officer Derek Mays pleaded guilty to four counts of obstruction of justice based on his efforts to cover up the same assault.

Havens is scheduled to be sentenced on March 13, 2023. He faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes. 

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office; and Colonel Phillip Burnett Jr. Commissioner of Kentucky State Police (KSP), jointly announced the guilty plea.

The FBI, KSP and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zach Dembo and Mary Melton for the Eastern District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney Thomas Johnson of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division prosecuted this case. 

Updated August 29, 2022

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 22-929