Chester sheriff, deputies plead not guilty in federal court
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A suspended South Carolina sheriff and two top deputies have pleaded not guilty in federal court to excessive use of force, misusing public money and other charges.
Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood and his colleagues, Chief Deputy Robert Sprouse and Lt. Johnny Richard Neal were arraigned Tuesday, news outlets reported.
Underwood and Neal are accused of grabbing a suspect and wrestling him to the ground during a 2018 arrest. A May indictment alleges that the sheriff and deputies later tampered with evidence and made false statements to cover it up.
Underwood also faces charges of conspiracy, unlawful arrest, conspiring to dodge taxes, having on-duty officers perform repair work on his property and taking relatives on expensive trips using agency funds.