Ddeputy Richard Farnham Pleads Not Guilty-Picture Nov 30, 2006 16:19:23 GMT -5
Post by WaTcHeR on Nov 30, 2006 16:19:23 GMT -5
Deputy Richard Farnham
11.30.2006 - A Pinellas County deputy assisting after Hurricane Ivan pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of violating a man's civil rights by shocking him with a Taser stun gun and kicking him.
Deputy Richard G. Farnham of Tampa was on patrol on Sept. 20, 2004, when he got into a confrontation with two homeowners in a residential neighborhood in Navarre.
Farnham, one of many out-of-town law enforcement officials who helped out after the storm, is accused of kicking and using the Taser on resident Daniel Thompson, 54, a retired New York City police captain.
A Taser fires small, dart-like electrodes with attached metal wires. The dart-like electrodes embed in the skin, disrupt nerve and muscle function, and disable the person fired upon.
Thompson was with his neighbor Ed Knowling, a retired Air Force colonel. Knowling since has moved.
Thompson and Knowling both are expected to testify. Knowling could not be reached Monday, and Thompson declined to comment because he is a witness.
On Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson scheduled Farnham's trial for Jan. 3. The indictment was unsealed last week.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis allowed Farnham to remain free until trial. He is on paid administrative leave from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
He cannot leave the state without special permission and cannot keep a firearm in his possession.
The federal civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Farnham is the second deputy to be charged in federal court in the local area with illegal use of a Taser.
Charles Dix, who resigned as an Escambia County deputy in August 2005, pleaded guilty in February to a civil rights charge of using excessive force against a woman whom he shot four times with a Taser. The woman, Martha Bledsoe, was attempting to report a child abuse allegation.
U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers is scheduled to sentence Dix on Dec. 8.
In the past year, the Sheriff's Office has settled two lawsuits involving Dix and the use of his Taser.