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Former deputy jailer convicted in inmate’s death, sentenced to 15 years

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 3:16 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:24 PM EDT
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BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A former Boyd County Detention Center deputy jailer accused of an inmate’s death was found guilty Wednesday of reckless homicide, six counts of first-degree criminal abuse, four counts of second-degree criminal abuse, and one count of third-degree criminal abuse.

Later Wednesday night, Brad Roberts was sentenced to 15 years in prison, to be served concurrently. He will be eligible for parole after three years and has already served two and a half years, according to Commonwealth Attorney Rhonda Copley.

The verdict against Roberts came on the eighth day of the trial. Inmate Michael Moore, 40, died in the 2018 incident.

Jurors deliberated for much of the afternoon and into the evening before reaching their verdict. They also found Roberts not guilty on five criminal abuse counts.

On Tuesday, the seventh day of the trial, Roberts took the stand in his own defense. Roberts is the first of four former guards at the BCDC to stand trial.

In 2018, Michael Moore died from blunt force trauma, three days after he was arrested for public intoxication and lodged at the Boyd County Detention Center, according to the medical examiner.

In his testimony, Roberts shared with the jury he worked several jobs during his time at the BCDC. He said there was a lack of job training, and deputy jailers relied “on the job training” to learn.

The surveillance video shows Moore was strapped in a restraint chair for more hours than experts had suggested. It also shows the deputy jailers flipping the chair upside down.

Roberts was pressured on the stand by the state’s attorneys about the degree of the alleged use of force.

“Each person has their own idea of what is too much. I personally don’t know and I didn’t know at that time,” Roberts said. Roberts’ attorney asked his client, “Do you still think it was too much force?” Roberts answered, “What I did? No.”

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