Lexington, KY – A Kentucky man was federally indicted on charges he threatened a sheriff in Arkansas in connection with the deputy-involved shooting of 17-year-old Hunter Brittain.
The fatal shooting occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on June 23, after then-Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Sergeant Michael Davis stopped Brittain on Arkansas 89 near Mahoney’s Body Shop, KATV reported.
Jordan King, 16, said he and Brittain had been working on changing the transmission on Brittain’s truck so he would be able to use it to get to work the next morning.
King said they were pulled over as they were test-driving the vehicle to see if the repairs they made had worked, KATV reported.
According to King, the truck wouldn’t shift into park and they were afraid the vehicle would roll into Sgt. Davis’ patrol car, so Brittain jumped out to place an oil jug behind the tire to stop the truck from moving, KATV reported.
He said he did not hear the sergeant issue any commands to Brittain before the gunfire rang out.
“They didn’t say one word that I know of,” King told KATV. “I didn’t hear it and it happened so fast.”
A second deputy arrived moments later.
“[He] told me get out with my hands up and pull my shirt up and stuff, and then took me to the ground, put me in handcuffs and was dragging me around and stuff,” King told KATV. “And then I sat in the back of the cop car for about three hours.”
He said he was later interviewed by the Arkansas State Police.
King claimed Brittain was unarmed during the fatal encounter, KATV reported.
Sgt. Davis, an eight-year veteran of the department, was immediately placed on administrative leave while the investigation was conducted, as is protocol for all deputy-involves shootings, the LCSO said in a press release on June 23.
On July 3, Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley announced he had fired Sgt. Davis for failing to follow department policy and activate his bodycam during the incident.
But Special Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Phillips didn’t announced a manslaughter charge against former Sgt. Davis until a press conference on Sept. 17, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
In the meantime, 40-year-old Jeremy Anderson of Lexington, Kentucky, took matters into his own hands, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The indictment said that Anderson left a voicemail for Lonoke County officials on June 29 and threatened to kill Sheriff Staley.
An affidavit from a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who investigated the threat described the message that Anderson left, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
“I will bring that f-king s-t down,” Anderson threatened, according to charging documents. “I think I’m gonna come down there and make an example of your f-king county.”
The message threatening the sheriff was left less than a week after Brittain was shot.
The FBI agent said in his affidavit that Anderson “was verbally aggressive in his speech and demanded that Sheriff John Staley resign and that the deputy involved in the shooting be charged with murder,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
The investigation into Anderson’s message because in the FBI’s Arkansas office but was coordinate with the FBI’s Louisville office once agents realized the threat had been made from Kentucky.
Court records showed that Anderson left the threatening voicemail at the Lonoke mayor’s office and they forwarded it to the Lonoke Police Department, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Anderson was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of interstate communications with a threat to injure.
Court records showed he was due to appear in federal court in Lexington on Nov. 3, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.