(Reuters) - A former Kentucky jail guard was convicted of beating an inmate and leaving him lying with blood on his face, until another jail employee saw the victim and he was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead, officials said on Friday.
A federal jury deliberated for an hour and a half before returning the verdict late on Thursday against William Howell, a former deputy jailer at Kentucky River Regional Jail in the town of Hazard, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
The panel found Howell guilty of excessive force and of ignoring the inmate’s injuries and he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each criminal count when he is sentenced on Aug. 16 at a federal court in London, Kentucky.
Howell, 60, and another guard beat inmate Larry Trent, 54, on July 9, 2013, after he was booked on a charge of drunken driving.
It started when the two guards opened Trent’s cell door to remove a sleeping mat. Trent ran out and the jailers punched, kicked and stomped on Trent before taking him back to his cell, where Howell kicked Trent in the head while he lay on the ground, the Department of Justice statement said.
An autopsy found Trent died of a fracture to his pelvis that caused hemorrhaging and from blunt force trauma to his head, chest and limbs.
Damon Hickman, the other guard, pleaded guilty last year to depriving Trent of his legal rights and falsifying records for his role in the beating, according to court records. He has not yet been sentenced for those convictions.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker