- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) - A federal appeals court has confirmed the conviction of former Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton on two counts of witness tampering.

A federal jury in Bowling Green convicted Eaton in 2013 of directing two deputies to write false incident reports for the FBI. Federal investigators were probing accusations of civil rights violations during a 2010 arrest.

Eaton was sentenced to 18 months in prison, but U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley allowed him to remain free on bond while the verdict was appealed.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Monday confirming the conviction. Eaton maintains his innocence and told the Glasgow Daily Times (https://bit.ly/1yLy9rR) hours later that the ruling was heartbreaking.

“My heart’s been ripped out of me,” Eaton told the Daily Times in a discussion about the time he is facing away from his family.

“I’ve been done wrong for no reason,” he said. “My family, especially my kids, don’t deserve to be put through no more.”

Eaton resigned as sheriff on July 31, 2013, the eve of his sentencing.

Eaton’s attorney, Guthrie True, said Monday that he wants to review the decision more carefully and talk to Eaton before deciding whether to pursue another appeal.

“I’m not terribly surprised by the ruling,” True said. “We had a pretty clean trial, so there was not much in the way of legal errors to appeal, and that’s kind of the bottom line.”

Officials say the next step likely will be to set a date for Eaton to report to prison.

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Information from: Glasgow Daily Times, https://www.glasgowdailytimes.com

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