LONDON — A trial date has been set for a former Kentucky River Regional Jail (KRRJ) guard who is accused of using excessive force against an inmate and refusing to offer medical help that led to the inmate’s death.
The trial is set for Nov. 29 in the United States District Court Eastern District of Kentucky Southern Division in London.
Jury selection will begin Nov. 28.
Damon Wayne Hickman is facing charges of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy.
On July 9, 2013, a federal indictment says Hickman, along with Deputy Jailer William Curtis Howell, attempted to remove a mat from Trent’s cell. When Trent’s cell door was opened, Trent exited the cell with his arms flailing.
Hickman tackled Trent to the ground. Both Hickman and Howell allegedly kicked and punched Trent in the face and body.
The indictment also says Hickman used a Taser on Trent several times during the alleged assault.
After the incident, the indictment says Hickman and Howell placed Trent back into his cell without offering medical attention to Trent’s wounds that he suffered during the assault.
The indictment says Hickman falsified his jail logs to make it appear he checked on Trent several times after the assault, when he actually didn’t.
According to the indictment, four hours after the alleged assault, a jail employee found Trent not breathing.
An autopsy performed on Trent showed his death was a result of bleeding caused by a pelvic fracture. The autopsy also said blows to the head and body also contributed to his death.
Both Hickman and Howell pleaded not guilty to the charges.
If convicted, Hickman could face life behind bars.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.