Former Erie Co. Sheriff Sergeant pleads guilty to using excessive force

Former Erie County Sheriff charged with deprivation of rights
Former Erie County Sheriff charged with deprivation of rights(Erie County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 4:46 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A former Erie Count Sheriff Sergeant pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights charges and using excessive force on Thursday.

According to a statement released by the First Assistant United States Attorney For The Northern District of Ohio, Adam Bess, 35, pled guilty to a felony charge in relation to depriving an inmate at the Erie County Jail of her constitutional rights and willfully using unreasonable force.

Bess originally pleaded not guilty on Aug. 16, 2022, to the charges following the incident, which took place on Nov. 1, 2021.

According to the statement, during the booking process of a new arrestee, Bess repeatedly choked the inmate, causing her “vision to pixelate and have lasting bruising.” According to the statement, the report further states that the inmate can be heard yelling, “He’s about to kill me, he’s about to kill me”.

Bess faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. The court will review factors unique to the case, such as the defendant’s prior criminal record and “characteristics of the violation”.

The FBI Cleveland Division and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Freeman and Tracey Tangeman. A sentencing date has not yet been set before United States District Judge Jack Zouhary.

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