Former Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Jesse Terrell, was found not guilty in his trial for using excessive force and violating the civil rights of Derrick Price during his arrest in August 2014.
Terrell, 33, was caught on camera with four other deputies beating Price when serving a drug-related arrest warrant. He was the only deputy who pleaded not guilty. The other four deputies took plea agreements.
He won his case with a unanimous jury decision this afternoon in Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges’ courtroom at the U.S. District Courthouse in Ocala.
On April 5, former deputies Trevor Fitzgerald and Adam Crawford testified as witnesses to Price’s arrest.
Both Crawford and Fitzgerald said that they did not feel endangered when they were making the arrest and that Price did not resist. Both officers also said they lied in their follow-up reports stating that Price resisted arrest that morning. Crawford admitted to copying parts of Fitzgerald’s report.
Crawford also admitted during his testimony that this was not the first time he used force when making an arrest. He said that he has used force during an arrest at least 20 times, but this was his worst use of force.
On April 7, Terrell testified stating that he used excessive force because he believed Price had a weapon on him. He admitted to kicking the left side of Price’s body even though he said Price was not doing anything threatening.
Terrell told the jury he did not have enough energy to force Price’s hands behind his back, so he kicked him in the head 22 times.
Terrell also said that he turned off his body camera because the case was closed.