FBI Now Involved in Craighead Jail Investigation - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro -- Heather Flanigan Reports

FBI Now Involved in Craighead Jail Investigation

April 12, 2004 -- Posted at 2:15 p.m. CDT, updated at 3:15 p.m.

JONESBORO -- K8 news broke the story to you nearly two weeks ago about a Brookland man who was beaten by jailers at the Craighead County Detention Center.

An internal investigation by the Sheriff's Office resulted in the dismissal of four of those jailers...but it's not over yet.

Jonesboro lawyer Martin Lilly is the attorney for Terry O'Neil and Dana McDaniel. He says their wounds are starting to heal, but their experience is far from over.

"There's been fires out in the area, there's been strange phone calls at midnight at night. These people are terrified and so they're just living a nightmare out there right now," said Lilly.

The FBI is now involved in the criminal investigation of the April 1 beating of O'Neil. Local agents have 21 days to forward a report to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann says his office has cooperated fully with the Arkansas State Police and the FBI's criminal investigation of this matter.

"We assured them we'd cooperate fully. They are welcome to every piece of information that we have on this, and we'll cooperate with them fully and are glad to have them involved on it," said McCann.

"We're are starting to get to the part now where people are trying to save their own neck, and so they're willing to be a little more forthcoming, so hopefully the main thing is getting the information out, so we can determine what to do next," said Lilly.

And getting that information out should come soon enough. Three of the four jailers fired over O'Neil's beating have requested a grievance hearing to be held on April 15th, and it's something that Sheriff Jack McCann can't wait to hear.

"I sincerely hope that we can play some of the interviews that we have filed on this because I would like very much for the public to hear what is on those tapes and see what was said," said McCann.

"Our main focus is not on what the county or the Sheriff does to punish any particular individual. Our focus is on Terry and Dana and getting them the compensation they deserve. You've got people that need medical treatment that don't have insurance," said Lilly.

But McCann says it's not about money, it's about doing the right thing.

"If they can hear some of the things that I heard where I couldn't sleep for three or four nights, it upset me so much," said McCann.

The grievance hearings for the three jailers who were fired will be heard by Craighead County Judge Dale Haas on Thursday.

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