By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Christopher Gary Hughes of Tupelo, described as a state trooper, is accused of depriving a woman of her civil rights in 2007 after an alleged “stomping” in the Lee County jail.
The one-count information, which is a formal charge outside a grand jury, was filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford and claims that on Oct. 14, 2007, Hughes arrested a woman and detained her at the Lee County facility.
Acting “under color of law,” Hughes is accused of assaulting the woman by throwing her to a concrete floor, striking her face against the floor, stomping her head against the floor and kicking her “without legal justification.”
The federal charge is that he “willfully” deprived her of her constitutional rights to protection against unreasonable searches and seizure and to be free from excessive force.
Paul Howell, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said no allegations against Hughes have been presented to his office to investigate.
Inquiries went unanswered to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety about the charges and why five years passed since they were alleged to have occurred.
Whether Hughes, 41, still is employed by MDPS also was not ascertained from that agency.
The U.S. District Court docket record shows that if convicted on the charges, Hughes faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
The record does not show if Hughes has been arrested or brought before a judge yet on the charge.