- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - A former sheriff’s lieutenant who was a Republican candidate for Hancock County sheriff has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for using excessive force.

A federal jury in Wheeling found 51-year-old Mark Cowden guilty in October of one count of deprivation of rights.

According to evidence presented during his five-day trial, Cowden threw a handcuffed drunken driving suspect face first into a brick wall and punched him in the head in January 2015. Cowden retired later that year.

But he ran for sheriff last year against Democratic incumbent Sheriff Ralph Fletcher. He lost in the November election.

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