Ex-cop convicted of battering suspects faces third sentencing

A former central Indiana sheriff’s deputy convicted of civil rights violations for battering two handcuffed suspects will be sentenced in November for the third time after rulings by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Terry Joe Smith is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 20 by a federal judge in Terre Haute.

The 40-year-old former Putnam County sheriff’s deputy was convicted in 2014 of using excessive force on two people he arrested. Prosecutors said Smith punched a restrained suspect in the face and threw another handcuffed suspect to the ground several months later.

The Tribune-Star reported that a federal appeals court found Smith's original 14-month sentence too lenient. When the same judge, District Court Judge William T. Lawrence, resentenced Smith again to 14 months, the court ordered Smith to be resentenced again, this time by a different judge. The case is now before Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

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