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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

Friday, February 2, 2018

Former Kentucky River Regional Jail Deputy Jailer Pleads Guilty To Civil Rights Violation For Using Excessive Force Against An Inmate

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A former deputy jailer at an Eastern Kentucky jail has entered a guilty plea to a federal criminal civil rights charge related to his role in an unprovoked assault of a pretrial detainee.

Jarrod Allen Lucas, 28, entered his guilty plea today, before U.S. District Chief Judge Karen K. Caldwell.

In his plea, Lucas admitted that, on October 10, 2011, he assaulted an inmate immediately after his Supervisor - Damon Hickman - punched the inmate on the side of his head.  Hickman struck the inmate with such force that he broke his hand and caused the inmate’s ear to bleed. Lucas and another supervisor, Matthew Amburgey, then knocked the inmate to the ground and repeatedly kicked him.  Lucas admitted that he kicked the inmate without justification.

The Kentucky River Regional Jail houses pretrial detainees from Perry and Knott Counties. As a deputy jailer, Lucas was responsible for the custody, care, safety and control of the inmates at the jail.

Hickman pleaded guilty last year for his role in a separate assault at the same jail. The victim of that assault died.

Amburgey pleaded guilty last week for his role in the October 10, 2011, assault involving Lucas and Hickman.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; John M. Gore, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; and Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, jointly made the announcement.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins of the United States Attorney’s Office and Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.

Sentencing for Lucas is scheduled for May 1, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. in Lexington. He faces up to 12 months imprisonment. The U.S. District Court will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes before imposing sentence.

Civil Rights
Updated February 2, 2018