Former detention officers plead guilty to assaulting juvenile inmates

Former detention officers plead guilty to assaulting juvenile inmates

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Two former supervisors at White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to assault juvenile inmates.

Patrick C. Harris, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced in a statement that Captain Peggy Kendrick, 43, and Lieutenant Dennis Fuller, 40, entered their guilty pleas in federal court.

Kendrick also pleaded guilty to assaulting a 16-year-old girl with pepper spray and to obstructing justice by falsifying an incident report about the assault.

Kendrick, Fuller and other unnamed officers "assaulted and physically punished juvenile detainees, who posed no threat, by spraying them in the face with pepper spray," the statement said. "In some instances, they then shut the compliant juveniles in their cells after pepper spraying them to 'let them cook,' rather than immediately decontaminating them."

Kendrick also reportedly encouraged other officers to falsify their incident reports to cover up the assaults.

She faces a statutory maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for the violations. Fuller faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Here is the complete statement with more information:

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