Former city cop pleads guilty to assault charges
A former Russellville police officer accused of having inappropriate relations with city inmates pleaded guilty to assault charges on June 27, officials said.
Jeremy Shane Hall, 35, 1372 Franklin 89, Phil Campbell, pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree assault and was sentenced to six months on each count to run concurrently but suspended for two years based on good behavior.
As a condition of the sentence, Hall will also have to surrender his certification to be a police officer and is barred from ever being a police officer in the state of Alabama.
Retired prosecutor Gary Alverson from Colbert County handled the case for Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing, who recused from the case.
Alverson said he believed the plea was good considering the circumstances.
“I’m not thrilled with having to resolve the case this way, but in a circumstance like this where there is a civil suit and a criminal case occurring at the same time, it makes the case more difficult,” Alverson said.
“We obtained depositions from the civil suit that was filed by some of the alleged victims, and there were substantial inconsistencies from some of the witnesses in their statements.
“In a criminal case, especially one where a more definitive statement has been given, the facts have to match up, so we felt it would be best to resolve the case.”
According to records, Hall was originally arrested on March 25, 2011, for three counts of custodial sexual misconduct following an investigation by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation was promoted after Police Chief Chris Hargett received a complaint from a female inmate at the city jail who alleged Hall touched her inappropriately.
After other women came forward alleging Hall had also had inappropriate relationships with them as well, Hall was indicted on seven counts of custodial sexual misconduct by the September 2011 grand jury and was terminated from his position as a city police sergeant by the Russellville City Council that same month.
According to witness testimony at Hall’s preliminary hearing at the end of June 2011, ABI criminal investigator Cpl. Brian Faulkner said the first female inmate accused Hall of making her perform a strip search when he let her out to get a snack at the snack machine inside the police department.
Faulkner confirmed that he had received other complaints during the course of the investigation from women who said Hall had inappropriate interactions with them while they were housed at the city jail.
Testimony during the hearing also revealed that Hall was accused of offering female inmates privileges and an “easier time in jail” in exchange for sexual favors.
In addition to the criminal charges, a notice of claim was filed in March 2011 with the city of Russellville by four former inmates who intend to sue the city based on events involving Hall that allegedly took place inside the city jail.
City attorney Danny McDowell said the civil suit had also been resolved.
McDowell said the settlement figures could not be disclosed, but the city’s insurance company did pay a nominal fee to settle the case with the city paying a small deductible cost.
“We didn’t believe there was any merit to the claims made against the city or city employees, but sometimes you have to look at the situation from an economic standpoint,” McDowell said.
“We had to do what would be in the best economic interest of the city and a settlement was the best option.”