Ex-Craighead Jailer Testifies in His Own Federal Trial

JANUARY 6, 2006 - Posted at 4:03 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A former Craighead County jailer testified in federal court today that he kicked an inmate but said he was justified in doing so because the man was struggling with jailers trying to remove the man's handcuffs.

Jody Miller is charged with violating the civil rights of two inmates.  Prosecutors say Miller punched and kicked prisoner Climmie Jones on March 29, 2004, and kicked Terry W. O'Neil two days later.

Taking the witness stand in his own defense today, Miller said he was justified in kicking O'Neil.  Miller also says he wasn't responsible for an eye injury that required O'Neil's trip to a hospital.

Miller and three other jailers were fired.  Only Miller is on trial after two others reached plea agreements and the third wasn't prosecuted.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)