Grand jury does not bring charges in Humphreys Co. beating - WSMV Channel 4

Grand jury does not bring charges in Humphreys Co. beating

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Some may consider it a shock Thursday that there will be no criminal indictments handed down against the Humphreys County sheriff or his three former deputies seen on tape, beating an unarmed man.

Specifically, the grand jury considered two days of evidence and decided there wasn't probable cause that any crime was committed.

But this isn't the end of the road for the accused men. Prosecutors could still bring more evidence back to the grand jury.

The first thing to remember is that a federal grand jury will consider bringing charges against the sheriff and the three deputies as early as next month.

Then, anytime during the next four months, the district attorney could go back and present more evidence to the grand jury.

But in the short term, it is good news for Sheriff Chris Davis and former deputies Tim Hedge, Benji Lee and James McCord, who have faced incredible scrutiny.

A grand jury is like nothing else. It does not determine guilt or innocence. Rather, it simply decides whether a crime probably happened or not.

The Humphreys County grand jury watched the tape of Darrin Ring's beating and heard more than 16 hours of testimony.

The jury then deliberated for hours more and decided none of it was a crime.

"Anybody who has watched the video of Darrin Ring being beaten and Tasered and treated worse than an animal, couldn't help but be disappointed that no action was taken," public defender Jake Lockert said. "Now, I'm not completely surprised, because you pick 12 people from the community and the 12 people that sit on that jury there may be two or three who are friends with or connected with some of these officers."

District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks says this is not necessarily over. After the federal grand jury considers charges against Sheriff Davis and the three deputies, he may meet with the grand jury again and offer new evidence.

"The TBI investigation and the joint FBI investigation is not over. In fact, there are things going on today concerning that," he said.

Alsobrooks says the case is not as black and white as the videotape.

"I think there are facts on there that could support probable cause for returning an indictment. But it's sort of how you view the circumstances. And there's a lot more to it than 18 minutes of film," Alsobrooks said.

In the meantime, supporters of the deputies are celebrating the first good news in a long time.

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