Crittenden County Ex-Deputy Pleads Guilty to Civil Rights Violation

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The federal Justice Department says a former deputy for the Crittenden County sheriff's office has pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony civil rights charge.  A news release from the Justice Department said the guilty plea yesterday in court at Little Rock stemmed from an assault at the Crittenden County jail.

According to the release, Shannon Houchin of West Memphis admitted that he abused his authority as a police officer when, in May 2006, he unnecessarily assaulted a person who had been arrested.  The news release did not identify the person who was the target of Houchin's assault, or provide any details on the circumstances.

Houchin faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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