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Feds will prosecute former officers

With three former Lawrence County corrections officers under federal indictment, the county won’t proceed with its case against them.

“The charges we filed were similar in nature to what they had with the federal indictment,” Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said. “Any sentence would run concurrently so it is really a duplication.”

Last week Ronald S. Hatfield, 25, of Waterloo, Jason D. Mays, 22, of South Point, and Jeremy S. Hanshaw, 36, of Coal Grove, were charged with conspiring to deprive, and depriving, an arrestee of civil rights while acting under the color of the law as deputies of the sheriff’s office under a federal indictment. The indictment followed an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Division.

In August the three were arrested following an investigation by the sheriff’s office into alleged mistreatment of an inmate at the county jail. The FBI investigation followed.

According to the federal indictment, a handcuffed inmate was allegedly slammed, kicked and punched by Hanshaw and Hatfield. The prisoner, who was allegedly not creating a physical danger to the officers, was also knocked to the ground and hit with a chokehold by the two men, according to the indictment. Mays also allegedly hit the victim in the neck and tried to block the surveillance camera during the incident. The three are also charged with falsifying reports.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio is in charge of prosecution.

If found guilty, the three men could receive up to 10 years in a federal prison.

“It would be a duplication in prosecution,” Anderson said. “Our cases have been dismissed after they were indicted by the federal government. We dismissed them without prejudice, meaning we could refile.”