The defense has begun calling witnesses in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other law enforcement officers. The men stand accused of beating a suspect in handcuffs and lying about it to the FBI.
Before calling their first witness, defense attorneys for Sheriff Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey, asked for acquittals or at least the dismissal of some charges, but the motions were rejected by U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley.
The defense brought to the witness stand Ron Lafferty, a detective with the Barren-Edmonson Drug Task Force. Lafferty said when he arrived on the arrest scene, suspect Billy Stinnett was already in handcuffs and he saw no one hit Stinnett. He wrote a report and stressed that Sheriff Eaton never influenced what he put in the report, as another officer testified earlier in the trial.
The state fire marshal says a fire that killed three people at a mobile home in Grayson County started accidentally near a light fixture.
Fire marshal spokeswoman Ricki Gardenhire says investigators determined that Sunday's blaze ignited in the ceiling, and there was no sign of foul play.
Killed in the fire were Eddie Clouse; his son, Cole Clouse, who would have turned 2 next month; and a family friend, Kalvin King. The fire started just before 11 p.m. CDT near Leitchfield.
Deputy Kentucky Fire Marshal Chris Crawford says the fire had already flashed over or was consuming the home from floor to ceiling when firefighters arrived, but the Leitchfield Fire Department managed to bring the fire under control quickly.
Prosecutors in the trial of Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton and two other southern Kentucky law enforcement agents have been calling FBI agents to the stand Tuesday.
Eaton, Barren County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey are accused of beating drug suspect Billy Stinnett after he was taken into custody, and then lying about it to federal investigators.
The three law enforcement agents took Stinnett into custody after he led officers on a high-speed, two-county chase on Feb. 24, 2010. Stinnett has admitted he was high on meth at the time of the incident, and a mobile meth lab was found in the back of the vehicle he crashed into a Glasgow church.
FBI special agent Michael Schaffer told the court he interviewed Detective Eric Guffey twice in one day following the alleged beating of Stinnett. Schaffer says Guffey told two different stories about whether Stinnett was on the ground or standing when he was struck by officers.