HARRISON — Bull Shoals' police chief is set to stand trial on charges alleging that he used excessive force while arresting a man last summer, including using a stun gun on the suspect while he was handcuffed.
Police Chief Daniel Sutterfield's trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in federal court in Harrison. According to prosecutors, Sutterfield also kicked and stomped Nicholas Dore while arresting him last July on suspicion of attacking Dore's girlfriend.
Sutterfield is charged with depriving Dore of his rights and trying to cover it up by ordering another officer to falsify a report on the event. He has pleaded innocent.
Federal prosecutors have filed a motion saying they have evidence that Sutterfield committed similar acts against two people in 2012. Sutterfield's attorney, Bruce Eddy, argues that there isn't sufficient evidence to prove those claims.
In recently filed court documents, U.S. District Attorney Connor Eldridge said the government plans to produce witnesses who will testify that Sutterfield used excessive force in a second incident, and had to be restrained from using such force in a third event.
In arguments asking that witnesses be allowed to testify about the two alleged incidents, prosecutors allege the events are similar to the charges Sutterfield faces in the Dore case, show Sutterfield's actions were not accidental or unintentional, and that Sutterfield had previously engaged in conspiratorial acts.
Eddy, the defense attorney, counters that the additional testimony should not be allowed because it is not relevant to the current case and is unduly prejudicial with the potential to mislead the jury, confuse the issues, and cause undue delay.
Eddy also argues that the charges of conspiracy to falsify a document and of causing another person to falsify a document violates the prohibition of double jeopardy.
In a motion to the court, Eddy referred to counts two and three of the indictment: conspiracy to falsify a document for the purpose of obstructing a federal investigation and causing another person to falsify a document for the purpose of obstructing a federal investigation.
Prosecutors contend the conspiracy charge is a distinctly separate crime from the allegation that Sutterfield ordered another offer to falsify a document.