Indiana sheriff's deputy found guilty on 2 civil rights counts involving excessive force

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TERRE HAUTE, Indiana — Jurors have found a central Indiana sheriff's deputy guilty of using excessive force following a five-day trial in federal court.

The Tribune-Star and the Banner Graphic report jurors in Terre Haute convicted Putnam County Deputy Terry Joe Smith on two counts of civil rights violations Friday but acquitted him on two other counts.

Jurors convicted Smith in a September 2012 incident in Cloverdale in which he allegedly punched a man in the face and a June 2013 incident in which prosecutors said Smith threw a man to the ground as he was placing the suspect in the back of a squad car.

Smith faces a sentence of 2 to 2 ½ years in federal prison. His sentencing has not been scheduled.

Defense attorney John Tompkins says he plans to appeal.

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