Two Houston County sheriff's deputies indicted by Federal Grand Jury

TYLER, TX - U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced that federal authorities have unsealed an indictment charging two Houston County deputy sheriffs with civil rights violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Henry Doyce Gresham, Jr., 50, and Charles James Clark, 63, both residents of the Crockett, Texas area, were indicted on March 4, 2009, and charged with civil rights violations related to the assault of an individual in the Davy Crockett National Forest near Crockett, Texas.

The indictment alleges that on July 11, 2008, while acting as Houston County law enforcement officials, the men went to Gresham's residence, verbally and physically assaulted an individual, and then transported him in a county-owned vehicle to the Davy Crockett National Forest.  During the drive, Clark discharged a TASER into the victim.  After arriving in the national forest, the victim was again verbally and physically assaulted.  Gresham placed a handgun against the victim's chest and under his chin.  He then used the firearm to strike the victim in the head.  The victim was also knocked to the ground and kicked before the deputies abandoned him.

Gresham and Clark were charged with conspiracy and violation of civil rights as well as assaulting the victim on federal land with a firearm.  The conspiracy, civil rights and assault charges each carry a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison while conviction on the firearms count could add an additional seven years in federal custody.  Gresham and Clark are set for an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Earl Hines on March 20, 2009 in Lufkin.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim Middleton and Frank Coan.

It is important to note that an indictment should not be considered as evidence of guilt and that all persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt