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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

Monday, November 20, 2017

Former Putnam County sheriff’s deputy resentenced in federal court

Found guilty of civil rights violations, now looks at additional prison time


Terre Haute – United States Attorney Josh Minkler today announced the resentencing of a former Putnam County deputy who was found guilty of two counts of deprivation of civil rights under the color of law.

“Our primary goal in prosecuting and resentencing TJ Smith was that he be treated fairly.  Simply put, TJ Smith should not receive favorable treatment from the criminal justice system because of his status as a law enforcement officer or his political connections in Putnam County.  We are confident that the federal law was fairly enforced in this case and that Judge Magnus-Stinson’s sentence of 33 months makes that message crystal clear.”

Smith was found guilty at a jury trial in September 2014, for his role in using excessive force when arresting two individuals in Greencastle Indiana. He was sentenced by Judge William T. Lawrence in December, 2014 to 14 months’ imprisonment. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana appealed the sentenced to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal in Chicago arguing that the sentence was unreasonably low. The Seventh Circuit remanded the case to the District Court for resentencing. The case was reassigned to Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson who sentenced Smith to 33 months.   

The case was prosecuted by Drug and Violent Crime Chief Bradley A. Blackington and Assistant United States Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum.


Updated November 20, 2017