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Former Jefferson County Sheriff Sentenced to Federal Prison
Defendant Immediately Remanded to Custody of U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Attorney’s Office May 13, 2013
  • Northern District of West Virginia (304) 234-0100

WHEELING, WV—Former Jefferson County Sheriff Robert E. Shirley was sentenced today to federal prison for using excessive force during the arrest of a bank robber in late 2010. United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld, II announced that Shirley was sentenced this afternoon to 12 months and one day in prison as a result of his conviction for deprivation of rights under color of law. Shirley was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals Service immediately following the imposition of the sentence, and he now will wait for the Bureau of Prisons to determine where he will be designated to serve his term. When released Shirley will be supervised for 18 months.

Shirley had been charged in a two-count indictment with kicking bank robbery suspect Mark Daniel Haines in the head at least five times, breaking his nose and fracturing his orbital bone. The injuries were inflicted on December 27, 2010, at the conclusion of a two-county chase of Haines, who had attempted to rob City ational Bank in Ranson, West Virginia. When Shirley pleaded guilty earlier this year he agreed that while acting under the color of law, he deprived Haines of his right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.

Shirley, who resigned as Sheriff of Jefferson County, West Virginia, in January, was sentenced by Chief Judge John Preston Bailey.

The second count of the indictment, which charged Shirley with destruction, alteration, or falsification of record in a federal investigation, was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. That count alleged that Shirley had falsified an entry in his Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office use of force report with the intent to obstruct the federal investigation into the assault.

Haines, who testified at the sentencing hearing, pleaded guilty in federal court in 2011 to robbing a BB&T branch in Martinsburg and is presently serving an 18 year sentence.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul T. Camilletti with assistance from the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division.

U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld commended the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating the matter.

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