Jailer fired for hurting inmate

A Saline County jailer is fired for using excessive force on an inmate.
A Saline County jailer is fired for using excessive force on an inmate.

James Hart was one of six jailers at the Saline COunty Jail. Lt. Scott Courtney says this is the first time anyone saw Hart use excessive force on an inmate - but that was all it took for Sheriff Bruce Pennington to terminate him from his position.

"There was a disturbance back in the cells and he applied too much force in bringing her from the cell up to the front to be put into a cell up there," said Lt. Courtney.

Lt. Courtney says another jailer saw Hart injure inmate Kristyle Adkins but won't specify what happened. Adkins is currently in a Hot Springs facility in drug rehab, but her father spoke to Fox16 about what he says happened.

"When I first seen her arm, her arm was all bruised up," said Dave Tiner, Adkins' father. "It looked like he tried to twist it off. Being a woman, she wouldn't be that hard to handle."

Adkins was in the Saline County jail for a probation violation stemming from previous drug charges.

"She's had problems, stuff like that, but she didn't do nothing to be treated like that," said Tiner.

"We don't condone it, we won't stand for it, and like this incident, once we found it and investigated it and found it was true, then appropriate steps were taken," said Lt. Courtney.

Hart was fired February 25th - just over two weeks after the initial incident on February 7th.

"We never want anything like this to happen. The last thing we want to do is for one of our officers to use more force than is necessary," said Lt. Courtney.

"When you see something like that happen to your daughter, and you can't do anything about it, you don't feel like a dad," said Tiner.

There are 150 inmates at the Saline County Jail at any given time. Lt. Courtney says although the ratio of inmates to jailers sounds overwhelming, there's no excuse for any of the six jailers to ever have to use excessive force on an inmate.
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