More testimony heard in trial of former deputy jailer
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Day five of the trial of Brad Roberts, a former deputy jailer at the Boyd County Detention Center charged with the death of an inmate, resumed Friday.
Roberts is the first of four former guards at the Boyd County Detention Center (BCDC) to be tried in connection with the death of Michael Moore, 40.
Several witnesses took the stand Friday, including two of the BCDC’s nurses at that time of the incident in 2018. They shared that during Moore’s stay at the jail, Moore was too intoxicated to get a complete vital check. Moore also refused to answer all questions in the medical questionnaire.
Alicia Beller, a former deputy jailer who accepted a plea deal in 2019, also took the stand on Friday.
Beller originally had been charged with manslaughter, but that charge was reduced to first-degree wanton endangerment when she accepted a plea deal with prosecutors.
Beller worked on the night shift on November 27-28, 2018. She only had been at the BCDC for six months before the incident.
Through her testimony Friday, Beller said she was pulled to work the control room on Nov. 27. The control room operates the BCDC’s cameras and doors. While working, she said she saw the deputy jailers “being a little too rough” with Moore.
On the stand, Beller said she voiced her concerns about Moore needing medical treatment after she watched a deputy guard, Messer, hit Moore’s head on a concrete wall. Beller told the court Roberts replied by saying Moore did not need medical treatment, but he would speak with the deputy jailers about their treatment of Moore.
Moore was found dead at the jail on Nov. 29, 2018.
The prosecutor pressured Beller on the stand, asking why she didn’t call for help. Beller said, “I followed my chain of command,” who at the time of the incident was Roberts.
Beller acknowledged during cross-examination that the BCDC had little to no training for deputy jailers. Previously, Beller was employed at the Western Regional Jail in West Virginia, where she said the training process was more rigorous.
The BCDC in 2018 required a 40-hour training week.
Travis Hanshaw, a deputy jailer and shift supervisor who worked the dayshift of Nov. 29, the morning of Moore’s death, also took the stand.
About an hour before Moore’s death, Hanshaw said he told Moore if he continued to cooperate he could be let out of the restraint chair soon, according to Hanshaw’s testimony.
About 15 minutes later, Hanshaw recalled an inmate looking at Moore. Hanshaw sent two deputies to check on Moore who they found to be unresponsive. Removed from the restraint chair, the deputies began to perform CPR on Moore until medics arrived.
Mark Hammond, the Boyd County Coroner, testified that working alongside the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Kentucky State Police, the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the torso.
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