The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Official Press Release, May 31, 2018 - On May 2, 2018 an incident occurred at the Cherokee County Detention Center. The incident regarded an allegation of two detention officers involved in an assault of a federal inmate, George Victor Stokes, who was sentenced and awaiting transport to Federal Prison. The Detention Officers involved were identified as Wesley Gage Killian, a part time employee, and Sgt. Josh Gunter.
As the incident was brought to Sheriff Palmer’s attention, he requested that Lt. Joe Wood of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division conduct an internal investigation of the Detention Officers named. Upon conducting interviews and reviewing available physical evidence, Lt. Wood reported back to Sheriff Palmer his preliminary findings. Sheriff Palmer, upon recommendation of Lt. Wood, suspended the two detention officers pending the completion of the internal investigation.
Upon completion of the investigation, Sheriff Palmer then terminated the detention officers due to violation of department policy and procedure regarding the treatment of inmates. The unlawful assault of an inmate is a violation of Cherokee County Detention Center Policy and Procedure.
Sheriff Palmer made immediate contact with District Attorney Ashley Welch. Upon conversation with the District Attorney, it was agreed that a joint request should be made to the State Bureau of Investigation by both the District Attorney’s Office and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office to have a criminal investigation conducted regarding the conduct of the two detention officers. The request was then made and accepted by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Due to the fact that Mr. Stokes was a federal inmate being housed at the Cherokee County Detention Center, the US Marshall’s Office was notified of the incident. The State Bureau of Investigation assigned an Agent to investigate the matter. All evidence gained, including detention center video surveillance, interviews, statements and reports obtained in the internal investigation conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation as part of their ongoing criminal investigation. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with the State Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney’s Office in full cooperation until this matter is to a resolution.
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