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Former sheriff’s sergeant gets 30 months for inmate assault

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former sergeant with a Louisiana sheriff’s office drew a 30-month prison sentence for beating a jail inmate and ordering a police dog to bite him, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

David Prejean had pleaded guilty in February to the 2012 assault at the Iberia Parish Jail. Prosecutors said he was a K-9 sergeant with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office and had been called to the jail to assist with a shakedown.

Court documents state that Prejean was in a jail recreation yard monitoring inmates who had been lined up against a wall, with their hands behind their heads and their heads against the wall. He had ordered one inmate, identified as “M.R.,” not to look at him or move “and to shut up.”

M.R. disobeyed, looking at Prejean and making a comment. Prosecutors said that enraged Prejean, who threw the inmate to the ground.

“While M.R. was lying on his stomach, with his hands behind his head, the defendant commanded his K-9 to bite M.R., despite the fact that M.R. had complied with the defendant’s commands and was not a threat to the defendant, his K-9, or anyone else on the rec yard,” prosecutors said in documents filed in February.

Prejean also struck the inmate in the upper body with a closed fist and kneed him in the side. His actions, prosecutors said, were contrary to his training and Iberia Sheriff’s Office policy.

Prejean never contested the federal charges. He waived a grand jury indictment and was charged in a bill of information last January, after an investigation by the FBI. He was sentenced Thursday.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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