WARNER ROBINS -- Three Houston County sheriffs deputies who face being fired after an inmate was sprayed with a pressure washer have appealed, the sheriff says.
Sheriff Cullen Talton said Lt. Shannon Perry, Sgt. Michelle Becham and Sgt. Ryan Burleson appealed their suspensions without pay pending termination.
The three were disciplined in connection with a June 9 incident in which an inmate smeared feces on himself, the wall and the floor of his cell. The inmate was not injured, and the water pressure was believed to be less than a regular garden hose due to a defect, Chief Deputy Billy Rape previously said.
Perry was the lieutenant in charge of the shift and allowed the pressure washer to be used, Becham was the housing sergeant who put the plan into effect and Burleson gave directions to the detention officers who used the pressure washer, Rape said.
Chester Prue, one the two detention officers who operated the pressure washer, also appealed his five-day suspension and 180-day disciplinary probation, Talton said.
Jeff Lasseter, a Warner Robins attorney, served as the appeal officer in the hearings that took place Monday, Talton said. Lasseter is a former prosecutor.
During the appeal hearings, the sheriffs office presented its side, and the employee presented his or her side, Talton said. Some of the employees had attorneys, he said.
The sheriff said hes not sure when Lasseter will reach a decision, but he may hear something by late this week or early next week.
Chad Cuskey, who also operated the pressure washer and received a five-day suspension and 180-day disciplinary probation, had not appealed by late Monday afternoon. Monday was the appeal deadline.
Also, Sgt. George Horne and officer Mark Perry each received a three-day suspension for having knowledge of the incident but failing to stop or report it. However, suspensions of three days or fewer cannot be appealed.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.