Juvenile Detention Officer Pleads Guilty


A former Arkansas juvenile detention officer has pled guilty to two charges that stemmed from his use of pepper spray on a 15-year-old.

43-year old Jason Benton, a former guard at the White River Juvenile Detention Center in Batesville, entered the plea Wednesday in federal court before Senior U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson.

U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Cody Hiland says Benton pled guilty to “deprivation of rights under color of law” and falsifying a report about the attack. His trial is part of an investigation into a pattern of abuse by guards and supervisors at the Independence County lockup.

Benton is the third former officer to plead guilty to charges stemming from assaults on juvenile detainees at the White River Juvenile Detention Center. On April 26, 2017, former White River supervisors Captain Peggy Kendrick, 44, and Lieutenant Dennis Fuller, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiring to assault juvenile detainees. Kendrick also pleaded guilty to assaulting a 16-year-old girl using pepper spray and for obstructing justice.   MORE

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