Two former deputy jailers have been indicted on federal charges in the 2013 death of an inmate at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.
Damon Hickman, 38, and William Howell, 59, are accused of federal civil-rights violations in the beating death of Larry Trent, 54, of Hazard. Hickman also is accused of trying to cover up his involvement.
Trent was arrested for driving under the influence on July 5, 2013.
At 7:18 a.m. July 9, according to reports, he was assaulted by Hickman and Howell, who hit and kicked him. He was restrained and returned to his cell.
At 10:50 a.m., Trent was found unresponsive and taken to Hazard ARH Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:20 p.m.
A preliminary report from a state medical examiner said that Trent died of "blunt impact of head, trunk and extremities," and that he had multiple skeletal and organ injuries.
Hickman and Howell were charged with manslaughter by a Perry County grand jury the following month in a case that is still pending.
On Monday, the U.S. Justice Department issued a news release announcing the federal indictment that charges Hickman and Howell with using excessive force in assaulting Trent and violating his right to due process of law by failing to provide Trent with necessary medical care after he was injured.
Hickman also is accused of obstruction of justice. He is accused of writing in a jail log that he had checked on Trent when he hadn't and indicating that Trent was "10-4," or doing fine, when he knew that Trent was not.
Hickman and Howell face a maximum penalty of life in prison for the civil-rights offense and up to 10 years in prison for the assault. Hickman could get up to 20 years in prison for falsifying records.
The FBI in London is investigating the case with help from state police.
Trent's story was featured last month in a report on jail deaths by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
His estate has already won a $2.375 million civil settlement in the case, the center reported.