Indiana deputy charged with excessive force free until trial

T.J. Smith
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Updated: .

The defense lawyer for a central Indiana sheriff's deputy facing federal charges of excessive force says the cases all involve people who were combative with police officers.

Attorney John Tompkins argued Putnam County Deputy Terry Joe Smith isn't a danger to the public in asking a federal magistrate in Terre Haute to release Smith from custody.

The Tribune-Star and the Banner Graphic report Magistrate Judge Craig McKee allowed Smith's release to pre-trial supervision even though he said Smith has shown trouble controlling his temper.

Smith faces federal civil rights charges. He's accused of repeated acts of violence, including forcing a woman's face into rocks and using a stun gun on a prisoner who was being held by other officers.

He's also a member of the Greencastle City Council.

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