Former officer stands trial, charged with using excessive force - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Former officer stands trial, charged with using excessive force

OPELIKA, AL (WXTX) - Opening arguments began Tuesday afternoon in the federal trial of Tim Watford.

Watford, a former Russell County sheriff's deputy, is accused of using excessive force and assault when he's alleged to have beaten up a handcuffed suspect.

[Read: Russell County deputy go to trial for suspect beating]

During openings arguments the US attorney told the jury, Watford, and his friend and fellow deputy Kirby Dollar punched, kicked and slapped the victim in this case, Patrick Herrington,  causing him to have a black eye, deep lacerations, blood in his sinus cavity a fractured jaw and a ruptured ear drum.

The US attorney says the two off duty sheriff's deputies left an Iron Bowl party when an area bondsmen called to let them know he had just taken Herrington into custody on Failure to Appear warrants. 

The US Attorney told the jury they would hear testimony from witnesses who said when the assault was over, both Tim Watford and Kirby Dollar walked over to a hose pipe and washed Patrick Herrington's blood off of their hands. 

At several points during opening statements, it appeared that Tim Watford was crying and struggling to keep his emotions under control.

Watford's defense attorney, Joel Collins, told the jury the victim suffered a lot of his injuries when he was shocked by twice by a taser as the bail bondsmen tried to take him into custody.

Joseph Williams, the bail bondsman who originally  took Harrington into custody, testified, " I was in shock. I was appalled. It went from being a really good apprehension to being a nightmare. They beat him senseless. Harrington was choking on his own blood."

Collins told Fox 54 his client will take the stand in his own defense and describe what happened.

We are also told Kirby Dollar, who has taken a plea deal and faces up to four years in prison for his role in the assault, will testify against Watford, the man who used to be his best friend.

Copyright 2011 WXTX. All Rights Reserved.

 

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