Former Chief Deputy Faces 10 Years In Federal Prison After Plea In Inmate Beating

A former chief deputy sheriff in Eastern Carolina has pleaded guilty for assaulting an inmate.

Timothy Lassiter was chief deputy for the Hertford County Sheriff's Office when he was charged last summer with assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault after a courtroom disturbance.

Lassiter pleaded guilty today to violating the civil rights of inmate Troy Powell. The feds say after removing Powell from the courtroom, Lassiter repeatedly punched the inmate in his face and body while the man was handcuffed.

"Every citizen has the right to expect law enforcement officers to act legally and in accordance with the Constitution. Former Chief Deputy Timothy Lassiter's actions were inexcusable. The charges against him should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law," said John Strong, the Special Agent in Charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI.

The former chief deputy faces up to 10 years in prison. He will be sentenced September 9th.