Hendricks Co. jail officer fired over use of excessive force

Sgt. Kris Allen (Hendricks Co. Sheriff photo)
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A jail officer in Hendricks County has been fired for using excessive force on an inmate.

Sgt. Kris Allen, 44, was fired by Sheriff Dave Galloway on Monday after an internal investigation into a complaint filed by 36-year-old Chad Mitchell. Mitchell is being held at the Hendricks County Jail on theft charges.

The case is now in the hands of the Hendricks County prosecutor, who will decide if charges will be filed against the fired deputy. A source tells Eyewitness News Crimebeat Reporter Steve Jefferson that charges are unlikely, but not altogether out of the question.

Galloway has a zero-tolerance policy for misconduct for his deputies who work inside the jail and patrol, as well.

"We as law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard," Galloway said, " and the public expects our behavior to be above board."

The sheriff is also dealing with termination recommendations for two other deputies who are married and under state and federal investigations right now. Deputies Jason and Teresa Woods are currently suspended from the department by Galloway. The sheriff ordered them to turn in their squad cars and other equipment after learning some details of the independent investigation saying they also allegedly violated department rules linked to failing to react to known criminal activity and conduct unbecoming an officer.

The Woods will fight to keep their jobs in front of a merit board next Wednesday. Galloway says that is when he will formally recommend termination and release details of the departmental rules they are accused of violating.

The Woods' attorney, John Kautzman, released the following statement on the couple's behalf Thursday afternoon: 

"Jason and Teresa Woods steadfastly and categorically deny the allegations brought against them by the Hendricks County Sheriff. These charges are based upon mere speculation and innuendo, and even imply criminal wrongdoing without any basis known to my clients. These deputies are entitled to due process and fundamental fairness in the Merit Board proceedings, and they look forward to the opportunity to clear their good names and reputations as soon as possible."