Former Kentucky State Prison Sergeant Convicted of Violating Civil Rights of an Inmate and Obstruction of Justice
David M. Schwartz, 48, and Donna K. Gentry, 55, former correctional officers at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Louisville on charges of violating the civil rights of an inmate, writing false reports, and obstructing justice for their roles in the assault of an inmate who was handcuffed and not resisting, and in the attempt to cover up the misconduct afterward by writing false reports and tampering with witnesses. A third officer, Devan Edwards, was charged by information today with a federal felony offense for his role in the assault. Today’s indictment was announced by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman for the Western District of Kentucky, and FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown Jr.
The indictment charges three felony offenses against Schwartz and one felony offense against Gentry. Schwartz is charged with depriving the inmate of his right to be free from excessive force (resulting in bodily injury), and with filing two false reports, one of which wrongfully accused the inmate of assaulting on an officer. Gentry is charged with obstructing justice by filing a false use of force report, and by directing a subordinate officer to file a false use of force report.
The maximum penalties for the charged crimes are 10 years of imprisonment for the deprivation-of-rights offense and 20 years of imprisonment for each of the false report and obstruction offenses.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case was investigated jointly by the FBI’s Louisville Resident Agency Office and by the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Public Integrity Unit. The case will be prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky.