WHEELING, WV—A federal grand jury sitting in Wheeling, West Virginia, on June 5, 2012, returned a two-count Indictment against Jefferson County Sheriff Robert E. Shirley.
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that:
Robert E. Shirley, age 60, was charged in count one with deprivation of rights under color of law, on December 27, 2010, in Berkeley County, West Virginia. Count two charges Shirley with destruction, alteration, or falsification of record in a federal investigation, on September 18, 2011, in Jefferson County. The indictment alleges that Shirley, while acting under the color of law, kicked and assaulted an individual, thereby depriving the individual of his right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer, which offense resulted in bodily injury. The indictment further alleges that Shirley falsified an entry in his Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Use of force report with the intent to obstruct a Federal investigation into the assault.
If convicted, Shirley faces a maximum exposure of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to count one, and 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 as to count Two.
This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti, with assistance from the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It should be noted that the charges contained in the above-referenced indictment are merely accusations and not evidence of guilt and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.