3 Kentucky State Police troopers indicted on federal charges
LONDON, Ky. (AP) — A federal indictment accuses current and former Kentucky State Police troopers of using excessive force during an arrest and conspiring to cover it up, authorities said.
A grand jury in London indicted Kentucky State Troopers Jeremy Elliotte, 28; Michael L. Howell, 32; and former Trooper Derrek Lovett, 30, according to a Wednesday statement from U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier.
The indictment alleges that Elliotte and Lovett assaulted and injured a victim without justification, the statement said. It says Elliotte, Lovett and Howell then conspired to conceal the force and the circumstances under which they used it.
Howell was previously indicted in June for conspiracy and obstruction charges, but the superseding indictment charges all three men with conspiracy and with trying to prevent communication of information to federal law enforcement about the alleged offenses, the statement said.
The defendants developed a cover story about what happened that was as close as possible to what a recording would show, in case the assault had been recorded, the indictment said.
It also alleges that Elliotte unlawfully entered a home on the night of the assault, which deprived the residents of their right to be free from unreasonable searches.
WDRB-TV reports the charges stem from the arrest of Bradley Hamblin, who was badly bruised when he was booked on arson charges in Whitley County. Hamblin filed a lawsuit in December 2020 that said training used by state police led to a “brutal beating” that left him with several fractured bones in his face.
Each man faces up to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy and obstruction charges, authorities said. In addition, Elliotte and Lovett face up to 10 years for the deprivation of rights charge related to the alleged assault, and Elliotte faces up to one year for the deprivation of rights charge related to the alleged unlawful entry.
A court date for the three has not yet been set. An attorney listed for Howell did not immediately return a message seeking comment. It wasn’t clear if the others have attorneys.