Former Deputy Jailer Sentenced to 48 Months for Violating the Civil Rights of an Inmate

A former Shelby County Deputy Jailer, William Anthony Carey, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory F. VanTatenhove to serve 48 months in federal prison for violating the civil rights of an inmate in his custody.

According to Carey’s guilty plea agreement, Carey worked as a Deputy Jailer at the Shelby County Detention Center in Shelbyville, Kentucky. During one of his shifts, Carey solicited Corey Lynn Hopper, 30, an inmate, to assault another inmate. Carey told Hopper about a personal vendetta Carey had against the other inmate, and asked Hopper to “take care of” him. That night, while the inmate slept, Hopper beat him, punching and kicking the inmate multiple times. The assault left the victim with severe facial fractures and missing teeth.

“The duty of correctional officers is to uphold the law and protect the people within their care,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “These actions are not only illegal and morally wrong, they go against the oath this officer took when he entered the job. This division will continue to work to protect the civil rights of all Americans, and vigorously prosecute those who violate them.”

“Excessive and unreasonable force perpetrated by, or directed by, a member of law enforcement is disgraceful and criminal,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “It undermines what our system of justice stands for and it damages the integrity of law enforcement. We have a distinct responsibility to combat it with all the tools available to us. Everyone is entitled to be free of this despicable conduct. I want to commend the FBI for their work in successfully investigating this case, bringing some sense of justice to the victim of this conduct.”

“Because corrections officers have a critical public safety responsibility, the FBI is committed to vigorously pursue civil rights and color of law violations. Through the Kentucky Public Corruption Civil Rights Task Force, FBI Louisville will continue to aggressively investigate any public official that abuses those they have been sworn to protect,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown, FBI Louisville Field Office.

For his role in the assault, Carey pleaded guilty in March 2019 to willfully depriving an inmate of his right to be free from unreasonable force while acting under color of law. Upon his release, Carey will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Hopper also pleaded guilty in January 2020 to aiding and abetting a person acting under color of law in willfully depriving an inmate of his right to be free from unreasonable force.  Hopper was sentenced on July 15, 2020, receiving 120 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. Under federal law, both Hopper and Carey must serve 85 percent of their prison sentences. 

The investigation was conducted by the Public Corruption/Civil Rights Task Force of the Louisville Field Division of the FBI. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hydee Hawkins and Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section.

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