COLUMBIA, SC (WIS)- The federal civil rights trial against former Kershaw County Sheriff's Sergeant Oddie Tribble resumed Monday with tearful testimony from one of the corrections officers who witnessed the 27 hits Tribble landed on a handcuffed inmate August 5, 2010.
Kershaw County Detention Center Corporal Angie Threatt was working the jail's intake section the night Tribble broke Charles Shelley's leg with a steel police baton. Threatt, a four year veteran of the jail, watched the beating from her position behind a set of booking windows, "I remember saying I can't believe this is happening," as Threatt became emotional.
"The situation was totally out of hand and I knew Mr. Shelley needed help," Threatt said. Threatt said she radioed for her Lieutenant, James Robinson for help. Threatt said she kept watching for Robinson on the jail's security monitors as the beating continued.
At one point, Threatt told jurors, she made eye contact with Tribble for a few seconds during the beating from behind the booking windows, "He looked like a mad man; like he had so much rage in him."
After the nearly two minute long beating, Tribble walked Shelley to the jail's intake door to have him booked into the jail. Robinson met Tribble at the door and told the deputy to take Shelley to the emergency room at KershawHealth to have him checked out. Doctors took x-rays of Shelley's right leg and found a fractured fibula, just above the ankle. Camden orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Joseph told the jury last week that the injuries were consistent with a person being hit with the steel police baton.
Prosecutors rested their case late Monday morning. Tribble's defense team's witness and evidence list is 57 long, according to attorney Greg Harris. Harris said last week that he plans to call Tribble to the stand during the defense's presentation. Harris said in his opening statements, "You don't have the context of what happened before. There are explanations for exactly what happens and why it happens," Harris told the jury. "He's not at all ashamed of what happened that night…there was a threat level and it was very high."
Tribble's defense team could rest their case Monday, before the jury gets the case. You can count on WIS to bring you the latest on the trial's progress.
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