Former Clarke County Sheriff's Office Deputy Sentenced for Assault of Arrestee
United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that United States District Judge Terry F. Moorer sentenced defendant Mitchell Finney, 52, a former deputy of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, to three years of probation for deprivation of rights under color of law. Finney was convicted of that offense on October 7, 2020, following a jury trial.
During trial, the jury heard evidence that on May 11, 2019, Finney responded to a call for service at the Grove Hill Hospital. Once there, he made contact with a male patient at the hospital’s geriatric psychiatric ward. The patient had been disruptive in the hospital, and hospital employees had called for police assistance. Other law enforcement officers had arrived on scene first, subdued the man, and taken him into custody. Finney then arrived on scene and approached the man to ask him to take a seat in a patrol car. The man did not comply and spat in Finney’s direction. Finney then punched the man in the face. Finney then retreated to his patrol car, obtained a can of pepper spray, and sprayed the man in the face for an extended period of time. The man was handcuffed throughout the interaction with Finney.
The United States recommended a custodial sentence of incarceration. The Court imposed a three-year probationary sentence. Finney was not ordered to pay a fine, but the judge ordered him to pay $100 in special assessments.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Kacey Chappelear prosecuted the case.