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A former Shelby County deputy jailer was sentenced to four years in prison at U.S. District Court in Frankfort on Monday, after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an inmate in his custody.

According to the plea agreement, signed by 31-year-old William Anthony Carey, Corey Lynn Hopper, 30, and another inmate were incarcerated together at the Shelby County Detention Center, in Shelbyville. Carey told Hopper about a personal vendetta he had against the other inmate and asked Hopper to “take care of” him. That night, while the inmate slept, Hopper and several others beat him, punching and kicking the inmate multiple times. The assault left the victim with severe facial fractures and missing teeth.

In January, Hopper pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a person acting under the color of law in willfully depriving an inmate of his right to be free from unreasonable force. Carey pleaded guilty to his role in the assault in March 2019.           

“The duty of correctional officers is to uphold the law and protect the people within their care,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “These actions are not only illegal and morally wrong, they go against the oath this officer took when he entered the job. This division will continue to work to protect the civil rights of all Americans, and vigorously prosecute those who violate them.”

“Excessive and unreasonable force perpetrated by, or directed by, a member of law enforcement is disgraceful and criminal,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “It undermines what our system of justice stands for and it damages the integrity of law enforcement. We have a distinct responsibility to combat it with all the tools available to us.  Everyone is entitled to be free of this despicable conduct.”

Hopper was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Upon his release, Carey will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years. Under federal law, both must serve 85% of their prison sentences.

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