Darrin Ring testifies before grand jury in beating case - WSMV Channel 4

Darrin Ring testifies before grand jury in beating case

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WAVERLY, TN (WSMV) -

A grand jury in Humphreys County has finished hearing two full days of testimony on the actions of their local sheriff, his department and three of its deputies.

Darrin Ring, an unarmed and handcuffed man, was allegedly beaten and shocked with a Taser repeatedly, both outside in the snow and in the Humphreys County Jail.

Now, the grand jury is considering whether these beatings add up to a crime.

The grand jury has made its decision on who, if anyone, will be charged, but the decision is still sealed.

Ring told his story Wednesday, blow by blow, on how it felt to be on the receiving end of the videotaped beating.

Since he will most certainly file a civil rights lawsuit against the sheriff's department, Ring is still not talking publicly. But his lawyer talked to Channel 4.

"The sad thing is if this video had never surfaced, Darrin would have just disappeared and nobody would have ever known about this. But thankfully, the support for Darrin has been tremendous, and he's just trying to lay low. It's been difficult for him," attorney John Griffith said.

The Humphreys County grand jury is weighing possible charges against former deputies Tim Hedge, Benji Lee and James McCord.

Jurors are also considering charges against Sheriff Chris Davis for his part in the alleged beating inside the jail, a beating witnessed by then-inmate Larry Barbee.

Barbee was reluctant to testify, fearing retribution. But in the end, he decided to do it.

"The same thing could happen to me or anybody else around here. I've known Darrin a while and I've never seen Darrin get in a fight or anything. I can't image what he could do to make a man deserve that," Barbee said.

So how important is this case for the grand jury? Consider, on Monday, the grand jury finished every case for the entire county for the entire last month in just eight hours. They have spent 12 hours so far on this case alone.

"They've dedicated two or more days just to this investigation, so you can tell by that they are doing a thorough job," said Jake Lockert, 23rd District public defender.

The surprise witness Wednesday was Waverly Police Officer Joe Parnell. He was the officer called by the sheriff as backup. He was the officer who brought the Taser to the scene.

Because of this incident, Waverly police will no longer back up the sheriff's department with Tasers.

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