PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind (WTHI) - Federal charges are expected Monday afternoon against a Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy who was arrested Monday morning.
Terry “TJ” Smith, a Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy and Greencastle City Council member, faces four federal charges for Deprivation of Civil Right Under Color of Law, or police brutality. Each count offers a maximum of 10 years in prison.
The accusations against Smith date back to 2011. All four accusations occurred while Deputy Smith was an acting officer for the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
In one instance, he’s accused of shooting his stun-gun at a suspect who was already secured by other officers and being taken into custody. The other accusations are similar; for instance, punching a person already in custody and kneeing a person already in custody.
The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department released a statement just after 1 p.m. Monday:
The Putnam County Sheriff has had no communications with Federal Law Enforcement authorities during the course of their investigation and has had no communications as to what charges were filed against Deputy Smith on today’s date. The Sheriff has suspended Deputy Smith, pending further action by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Merit Board.
The Greencastle Common Council has not released a statement at this time concerning his position on the council.
Smith remains in federal custody. On March 13, a hearing in federal court will determine whether he stays behind bars until his trial, set for April.
The Greencastle council will meet Tuesday evening, and will not release a statment until that time.