July 13, 2005
Two more former Campbell officers sentenced in torture case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Two more former Campbell County sheriff's officers were sentenced to prison Wednesday for the beating and torture of a suspected drug dealer.
David Webber, 40, was sentenced to 57 months and Samuel Franklin, 42, received 54 months for the assault last July on Lester Eugene Siler.
U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan sentenced former deputy Joshua Monday, 25, to 72 months on Tuesday. Two other former officers awaited sentencing later Wednesday.
"It's a tragedy for all concerned," the judge said.
The officers claimed they went to Siler's home to serve him with a warrant for a probation violation. They told the FBI they were trying to get him to sign a form allowing a search of his home.
But a secret tape recording made by Siler's wife of a portion of the two-hour interrogation revealed demands by Webber for cash and drugs.
Webber was the sheriff's chief narcotics investigator. Franklin was a 17-year veteran detective and head of the sheriff's D.A.R.E. anti-drug program.
Awaiting sentencing were former reserve deputy Shayne Green and part-time process server William Carroll.
All five pleaded guilty to attacking Siler.
"Things did go wrong, and I have taken responsibility for what I've done," Monday told Varlan before he was sentenced.
Monday, who faced a seven-year term for pointing a gun at Siler and threatening to shoot him, is cooperating with authorities. Varlan was briefed behind closed doors on what information Monday has provided.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley said the former officer still should be punished. "It's disgraceful. It's absolutely horrible behavior that is not tolerated in the United States of America," he said.
Siler, who attended the sentencings, has filed a $19.5 million lawsuit against Sheriff Ron McClellan and Chief Deputy Charles Scott for the attack.